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Comment: Re:Watch the messenger (Score 2, Funny) 457

by Admiral Ag (#32145574) Attached to: iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

The camera connector kit that enables most of these things is $30, which is cheaper than expected, coming from Apple. $30 is about 6 to 9 cups of reasonable coffee. That is hardly expensive these days.

So Ebenezer Scrooge would rather buy a netbook than an iPad. He isn't most people.

Comment: Re:Still doesn't work (Score -1, Troll) 178

by Admiral Ag (#32012082) Attached to: ArenaNet's MMO Design Manifesto

Many griefers want to be the famous badass, so I just don't buy it.

And past experience is not much of a guide, since there hasn't been a decently designed MMO yet. They tend to be designed by the socially inept, or by people with libertarian beliefs (in other words, mainly Americans). Too much thought is put into combat mechanics and not enough into social mechanics.

Comment: Re:To each their own (Score 1) 178

by Admiral Ag (#32011828) Attached to: ArenaNet's MMO Design Manifesto

You don't have to cater to one or the other. It is possible to design a game that appeals to both. The obvious solution is to turn griefing behaviour from a liability into a boon.

Allowing griefers to play as outlaw characters at a certain cost (that cost being whatever it takes to make sure that it remains a minority activity, and ought to vary according to supply and demand) and providing incentives for law abiding players to hunt them down gives both parties what they want. The griefer gets to annoy people and gain a reputation as a badass. Everyone else gets to hunt him down for fun and money.

After all what's a fantasy setting without brigands and sadists to provide some colour? The game designer's only thought should be making sure that brigandage serves the world and does not ruin it.

Comment: Re:Um..no (Score 1) 865

by Admiral Ag (#31686210) Attached to: James Lovelock Suggests Suspending Democracy To Save the World

"Seriously, how the heck can you first note that democracy results in more efficient cooperation than dictatorship, and then suggest that democracy should be "suspended" when cooperation is required?"

Because it doesn't always result in greater efficiency, as I made plain in the original post.

Your threats are risible. You'll do as you're told, just like everyone else.

Comment: Re:Um..no (Score 1) 865

by Admiral Ag (#31681790) Attached to: James Lovelock Suggests Suspending Democracy To Save the World

Rich countries refusing to do anything about climate change is effectively deciding without obtaining the consent of people in poorer countries that the latter will pay the cost.

Once you acknowledge the externalities inherent in carbon emissions, the only way you could preserve democracy is by having a democratically elected world parliament decide the issue, and if Lovelock is right, even that might not work.

The fact that people in rich countries would not consent to a world vote on reducing emissions shows how hollow talk of democracy among the rich is.

Comment: Re:Um..no (Score 1, Insightful) 865

by Admiral Ag (#31681724) Attached to: James Lovelock Suggests Suspending Democracy To Save the World

This isn't true. Democratic government is preferable under most circumstances. It is much easier to secure co-operation and deal with dissent if people have a genuine stake in society and the government exists by consent. Democracy has been successful for reasons of efficiency more than any other reason. It would very likely be much easier to restore democracy than you think.

But Lovelock is right. There are certain sorts of problems that democracies can't really deal with. That's why democracy and democratic freedoms are sometimes curtailed during war. In particular, democracies are poor at dealing with slowly developing, complex, and eventually catastrophic problems. WWII is a good example.

All I see is people crying like bitches about Lovelock's argument, or indulging in climate change denialism. None of this is addressing his argument. If democracy can't fix it and climate change is that big of a problem, it follows that we have to dispense with democracy (perhaps only in certain respects) until the problem is fixed. Crying like a bitch because you don't like the situation isn't solving anything.

In fact, all that needs to be done is for the political class to agree to fix the carbon problem no matter what the voters think. Such solutions are not unprecedented in democracies.

That seems reasonable. What's unreasonable is saying that you personally can live with the effects of climate change. I'm sure that the millions of people who would suffer terribly because of climate change would have a problem with your "choice". It's a global problem. If you just choose for yourself and screw everyone else, then you are justifying the use of force against yourself.

If rich countries think that they can ignore climate change and not suffer Al Qaeda x 100, then they are sadly mistaken. The world's poor aren't going to go quietly just so you can have "democracy".

Comment: Re:Not a Computer... an Appliance (Score 1) 1634

by Admiral Ag (#30944046) Attached to: iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"

Because, although you wouldn't know it from the way people talk, in some contexts freedom is a bad thing. Sometimes everyone benefits from imposed regulation.

But, even if you think that state regulation is wrong, we are talking about a private company choosing to regulate its own products. What some people are asking is for Apple to be compelled to open up their platform. That doesn't sound like promoting freedom, but forcing Apple to bow to the will of a minority of users.

If Apple is wrong, then the device will fail in the market. If Apple is right, then less freedom is something that a sufficient number of users will be willing to trade off to use their products. Most users are not power users. Why shouldn't they be able to buy the computer they want? It's like saying that only hi fi equipment should be manufactured and that everyone who wants to play music has to buy it. Some people don't need or want that.

In the end this boils down to the same argument regarding Apple's refusal to sanction installation of OS X on non-Apple hardware.

If you want to prevent companies that aren't monopolies from choosing their own business models, then that would probably be the end of capitalism.

Comment: Re:Warrants (Score 1) 132

by Admiral Ag (#30629100) Attached to: New Zealand Cyber Spies Win New Powers

Why should it? These folks have a warped understanding of privacy. How bad does it have to get? What if someone produced an accurate mind reading device? Then thoughtcrime would become a reality. I imagine people would have a problem with that. Well, I have the same problem with government spooks being able to access my private telephone calls.

Nobody ever asks us if we are willing to give up our privacy in exchange for security.

Comment: Re:What does "iPhone killer" even mean? (Score 5, Insightful) 347

by Admiral Ag (#29932227) Attached to: Android 2.0 — Competition Against the iPhone and the Rest

I disagree.

Both Android and the iPhone OS are ultraportable computing platforms. The iPhone isn't really a phone per se, but a mobile computing device with phone functionality. Apple will even sell you one sans phone if you want it.

Successful competitors to the iPhone will be those that understand that the point is to make a better ultraportable computing platform, not necessarily a better phone. I think Google may be able to do that, but I don't think RIM can, and Microsoft's development team appears to be a circular firing squad.

As usual, competition is only good for end users, so I hope Android does well.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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