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Comment: Re:is it really bad in the first place? (Score 2) 342

by Beerdood (#48495449) Attached to: Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU
Because alcohol gives you boosted levels of confidence (Of course I can still drive, I'm fine!!). Marijuana certainly does not (if it increases anything, it's paranoia).

IMO, both of these substances will reduce your reaction time and potentially impair driving. But alcohol is far more dangerous because it impairs your driving *and* increases confidence. Marijuana reduces your confidence. The drunk driver is going 20 over the limit, the stoned driver is going 10 under. So it's not necessarily an equal comparison, and perhaps driving under the influence of alcohol should warrant a more severe penalty.

Comment: Re:*Spoiler alert* (Score 1) 561

by Beerdood (#48430305) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon
A little of column A, a little of column B. The Sarkeesian ordeal and backlash there is a good example of showing how much hatred and vitriol was out there for simply having an idea, or having a kick starter heavily exceed expectations. Sure, there's a lot of BS in her videos and either she has no idea what she's talking about - or she's being intellectually dishonest about the topics there. But the amount of hate spewed before that first video was made is a good indicator of how well feminism fits in with hardcore gamers.

But back to gamergate; it's basically one big case of "You're not technically wrong, outraged gamers. You're just assholes." Even if she did sleep with some people for favorable reviews (sorry, previews), then whoop de doo. It was for a game about depression, and it was a text-based game, and it was free. That excludes about 99.999% gamers from any interest right there. And it wasn't even for a review, it was more of an "honorable mention" in a site with a list of a bunch of other free games.

So yeah, it's not so much just "A person cheated at business, and the community around that business called out the cheater". It's that collectively, the gaming community gave way too many shits about the whole thing. Which is why it was so easy to label this as misogyny by the other side, and why they attempted to quell the whole thing. As if gaming journalism was already some holy sacred cow that was now tainted because of the ordeal (Kane and Lynch, anyone?). A great quote from the Colbert-Sarkeesian interview was something like "no... but it's about gaming journalism! This is important! Could you imagine if Hollywood journalism had no ethics?"

Comment: Re:LOL ... w00t? (Score 1) 561

by Beerdood (#48429687) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon
This is remarkably similar to the Lisa Lionheart episode of The Simpsons, specifically the scene where the one female executive is seen heading into the board room full of white dudes (who begin catcalling as she closes the door with her tush). There's even one woman on that corporate list!

Comment: Re:By the same logic (Score 1) 335

That's a really good point. I see the same sort of argument being used in the discussions around driverless cars - there's some attempt to set up a (rare) hypothetical scenario where a machine would make the wrong decision, but the human could make the correct one. And that's supposed to be some justification for not allowing machines to make decisions in an area humans have previous been in control of. While it's not only doubtful the scenario can be proven, you still don't need the robots to be 100% foolproof - they just need to make significantly better decisions than the humans. If killer robots end up resulting in 1/100th of the civilians casualties in a war when compared with jittery human soldiers, isn't that enough to justify the replacement?

Comment: Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 465

by Beerdood (#47731303) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater
Retribution, Rehabilitation, Off the Streets, Deterrence - that's generally the purpose of prison

Retribution - the "fair" part in your argument; I'm not going to comment on whether 33 months is fair, but you spend some time in prison to pay for what you've done. Whether it's 1 month or 10 years is a separate topic. This could arguably be a fine and not necessarily prison time, or some other form of punishment as you may be suggesting
Rehabilitation - this part is supposed to turn criminals back into model citizens. This is mostly a joke in the US prison systems; why would for profit prisons work on ensuring prisoners don't return to prison? That's just lost profit. Maybe this is what you see as pointless. This is in the UK though; I'm not familiar with the state of the prisons there so I can't comment. But even so there's still some benefit for..
Off the Streets. If he's in prison, then he's not still recording bootlegged movies. That's one less camcorder viewer for 33 months. There's your slight "improvement to society in any way" you're looking for. And on top of that there's
Deterrence. The knowledge that recording video footage and then distributing this for profit lands you jail time is probably sufficient to deter some existing people from their recording, or helpful in preventing new criminals from starting up in this business.

Deterrence is probably the most helpful argument for prison time for this. Office Space sums this up well enough; when the 3 protagonists start their scheme up, they're sure that they might just get a slap on the wrist or some minimum security light prison. But after learning that this crime is quite capable of getting them in a pound-me-in-the-ass prison, they're worried all of a sudden! Now if Samir and Michael knew before they started this scheme that there was any possibility of going to pound-me-in-the-ass prison, they probably wouldn't have started the scheme in the first place

Comment: Re:Time to move into the Century of the fruit bat. (Score 1) 1198

by Beerdood (#46880207) Attached to: Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs
His argument was not that the death penalty is *only* a deterrent (in fact I don't think he said anything about deterring future crime). The argument was more that some people are so distant from humanity that they basically deserve to be removed from society permanently. You could do that with prison too, but if there's no chance of rehabilitation then perhaps they're better off dead so it's not costing taxpayers money.

Not saying I necessarily agree with these views, but I can see the reasoning behind this. Deterrence isn't the only reason we punish people. By your logic, any existing punishment isn't a deterrent for all people, therefore we shouldn't punish people with prison. "So if life imprisonment of 25 years is not a deterrent, why again does the US have it?"

Comment: Re:So go ahead - what are the legitimate uses of t (Score 1) 251

Well you gotta take the good with the bad with the DarkMarket. Sure, maybe a Dallas Buyer's Club scenario might seem more legitimate to the average person (or a market for any legitimate pharmaceutical drugs at lower prices because a huge markup in Europe / North America). But what about all the other nasty, illegal stuff will this be used for? The creators of this can't control the goods and services that are sold any more than the creators of bittorrent can control the files being transferred around.

Sure, maybe some drugs seem harmless and you can argue they're a victimless crime or whatever. What about all the other insidious shit out there that this will be used to peddle? CP, hit-man & assassination services, weapons, slavery, identity theft and stolen credit cards... surely the concept of DarkMarket opens up a new market for all these types of transactions too - you can't expect these services to be somehow excluded. In my utilitarianism-based opinion; this is a far greater harm than good for the world; the benefits of being able to buy some recreational drugs or make purchases anonymously is heavily outweighed by giving the rich the ability to put out a hit some some journalist with a dissenting opinion (with a much lower chance of being caught than without this service), or a new market for CP, etc..

I wish the creators of this project would realize this. Maybe this is just somehow acceptable in the worldview of the anarchist or the libertarian-leaning types. Or maybe it's morally rationalized by some thoughts on the lines of "Hey, I didn't kill those thousands of people! I only sold those guns to that corrupt African warlord" or "I only helped create the software that assist people making illegal transactions, I didn't actually sell or make that CP" and somehow absolve themselves from guilt because they're not the ones making the transaction. I might not agree with the current laws on drugs, but I certainly don't support this project.

Comment: Re:Sorry about the loss of the magic (Score 1) 469

I this same sort of parallel with guitars as well; all of my musician friends that play guitar seem to highly value older guitars (made in the 60's and 70's) over those made recently. And they're not just valued for their sentimental value; every decent guitar player I've met seems to have some sort of fascination with vintage guitars and *knows* the sound is considerably better than anything they can buy today. I don't see this parallel with non-string instruments, such as brass, woodwinds, percussion or keyboards (possibly a couple of exceptions for keyboards, i.e. a hammond B Leslie; but certainly not the norm).

Maybe there's some other factor here, but I still have a hard time believing whether older string instruments are actually better sounding. As OP suggested with the Stradivari, they were certainly well crafted in their day. But surely we have the technology and material to surpass that now - especially with the same companies that continue to make guitars, right? Or is there truly some scientific factor that makes the sounder better (such as the wood "maturing" or drying up more over time, or something like that)? I still don't know whether vintage guitars actually sound better, or if everyone's just fooled into thinking they sound better because Hendrix or Page played that exact guitar that one time in the 70's - they don't sound any better than new guitars to me. Perhaps there is something "special" about older string instruments that hasn't been explained well yet?

Comment: Re:Still abusive (Score 1) 511

by Beerdood (#46277151) Attached to: Gabe Newell Responds: Yes, We're Looking For Cheaters Via DNS
Most single player games on valve, or single player versions have achievements (at least 100% of the games I've purchased, around 30 or so). If you're using a cheat on single player and you're able to get those achievements as a result, then they've been devalued. I suppose they could start disabling achievements if a hack is detected, but what would be the benefit to them for implementing such a system? Then it's a constant game of cat and mouse with detectable hacks and cheats in the game.

Maybe you and others don't care about achievements or think them silly or stupid, but plenty of gamers get some sense of accomplishment or satisfaction when they're completed - especially the harder ones. We don't want these tarnished by people with hacks and cheats.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 1) 612

by Beerdood (#45769935) Attached to: Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?
Still missing the point. The point was we're biologically wired to want different things - male brains and female brains are hardwired differently from birth. Advertising, social differences & behavior, pink vs blue - these aren't causes of the differences we see in boys vs girls or men vs women, they're tailored to what we're biologically included to do. Differences in brain development can already be seen at 26 weeks in the womb.

Even babies react differently depending on the gender. How are you going to pin these differences on nurture instead of nature?

Comment: Re:Where can I contribute to his defence fund? (Score 4, Insightful) 59

by Beerdood (#45676661) Attached to: Cybercrime Marketplace Mastermind Faces 18 Years In Prison
"Hey I didn't actually sell financial information, I only helped set up a system that allowed criminals to sell stolen credit card details!"
"Hey I didn't actually molest those children, I only created a forum that let people purchase CP from eachother!"
"Hey I don't own any slaves, I only helped some sellers find some and shipped them across to people willing to buy!"
"Hey I didn't kill those thousands of civilians, I just helped facilitate a deal between an arms dealer and a corrupt dictatorship!"

Yeesh. "merely providing a forum to communicate". It's assholes like you that make the world burn - you damn well know the consequences of the actions of a scheme, a forum set up specifically for selling stolen financial information , but somehow rationalize it away in the name of some libertarianish idea of 'all free speech should be allowed' because you're actually facilitating in the crime yourself!

Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2 216

Posted by timothy
from the do-dilute-it-with-water dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Suzanne Goldenberg writes at The Guardian that researchers at the University of Toronto's department of chemistry have identified a newly discovered greenhouse gas, perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), in use by the electrical industry since the mid-20th century, that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth. 'We claim that PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere to date,' says Angela Hong. Concentrations of PFTBA in the atmosphere are low – 0.18 parts per trillion in the Toronto area – compared to 400 parts per million for carbon dioxide but PFTBA is long-lived. There are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere so it has a very long lifetime, possibly hundreds of years, and is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. 'It is so much less than carbon dioxide, but the important thing is on a per molecule basis, it is very very effective in interacting with heat from the Earth.' PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment, such as transistors and capacitors. 'PFTBA is just one example of an industrial chemical that is produced but there are no policies that control its production, use or emission,' says Hong. 'It is not being regulated by any type of climate policy.'"

Comment: 3/20 wtf? (Score 1) 487

by Beerdood (#45468605) Attached to: Musk Lashes Back Over Tesla Fire Controversy
I can't help notice the irony of the GP posting "People are really bad at understanding statistics.", yet you use a random stat (3/20 Tesla Accidents had an auto-fire) to make it sound like the Tesla Model S is "more likely to catch fire". Kind of ignores the ridiculously small sample size, the fact all 3 cars were going extremely high speeds (maybe sports cars in general have higher accident rates?), or that fire-related problems are less likely with a more detailed on board computer etc... And where's this 20 coming from? (honest question, I don't see anything in the links - are there only 20 reported Tesla S accidents to date?) . There were only 3 fires in the Tesla Model S... ever! You can't make a statement with odds that low.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"