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Comment: Re:Tetris is based on a Russian board game (Score 1) 34

by CastrTroy (#48433179) Attached to: The Man Who Made Tetris
The appeal of Tetris is that it was done well. There are a million Tetris clones out there, but how well the game is programmed really makes the difference between and enjoyable game, and one that is extremely frustrating. I'm not sure what the original Tetris was like, the the versions for the NES and Gameboy, which a lot of us remember playing were done very well. It's like going back and playing Mario Bros, and then going to some cheap knockoff that some kid programmed in a few weeks. The underlying game is basically the same, but the experience of playing the game is completely different.

Comment: Re:First in what? (Score 1) 233

by CastrTroy (#48429411) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?
Also, the computer predicting the weather is only as good as the algorithms running on the computer and the data fed into the computer. Garbage in = Garbage out as they say. Maybe the correct approach isn't to build a giant supercomputer, but to build a better and more densely distributed set of sensors so that the existing computers have more and better accurate data to work with.

Comment: Re:How much does the device weigh? (Score 1) 164

by CastrTroy (#48420241) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water
A water bottle which can hold .75 litres probably weights at maximum 100 grams, so just using a regular water bottle on your bike, which it usually has room for anyway. Most bikes have room for 2, so you can carry 1.5 litres of water with 1.7 KG of bottles. If you're looking for lightweight ways of carrying water, a water bottle is probably close to optimal.

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 1) 119

by CastrTroy (#48413057) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins
I can't think of a good reason why anybody would want to pay rent with cash. First, there's a big liability walking around with that much cash. Even if you're just carrying from the bank to the rental office, that's a huge amount of money to lose. Also, there's no record that the transaction took place. If I pay with a check, or using a debit card, there's a record that the money went from my account to the building management account. With cash there's no direct record. The best you can hope for is that they issue you a receipt, but even then they could say you forged it, and that they have no record of the payment. Plus, I can really understand why the building wouldn't want to take cash. Otherwise, they would have a huge amount of money on hand at the beginning of the month. They would have to take a lot of precautions to ensure that the money was not stolen.

Comment: How do I refill it? (Score 1, Insightful) 192

by CastrTroy (#48405621) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
This car is going to have a major problem with most people because there are no stations that carry hydrogen to refill it. It's hard enough for the Tesla to gain traction because you can't refill it in as many places as a standard gasoline powered car, but at least in that case you can charge it every night at home, and it has enough range to last you for the day. You won't be able to generate or store hydrogen at your house. And until there's enough hydrogen stations across the city, it will be very inconvenient to own one of these cars. Even a couple in every city wouldn't be enough because nobody wants to go 20-30 minutes out of their way just to pick up fuel for their car.

Comment: Re:Horribly sexist ! (Score 1) 635

by CastrTroy (#48402521) Attached to: Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games
Yeah, but you could make a game just to illustrate how stupid the double standard is. Make a game with only female lead roles who are portrayed in a very positive manner and have all the men in the game be bumbling idiots who are constantly causing problems.

I wonder how such a rating would be applied to a sports game like such FIFA/NFL/NHL, in which no women are actually players in these sports. Is it sexist to now allow females to be created when creating custom characters? If it allowed creating female characters, would it be sexist to not allow the stats to be above the level of the best woman players to keep it in touch with reality?

Comment: Re:This article is useless (Score 3, Insightful) 91

by CastrTroy (#48402139) Attached to: Facebook Planning Office Version To Rival LinkedIn, Google
If you look at all those technologies, the real advantage to the employer is that they allow you to make your employees work when they aren't at work. Knowing employees had phones at home was great because you could call them up at a moment's notice and get them to come in after hours. Personal computers aren't really necessary at the office. A mainframe would work just as well in many cases, but having employees with computers at home meant you could ask them to work from home, connecting to the mainframe if necessary. Email and Internet allowed employees to all be in touch and communicate when they were working at home. Cellular/Smart phones allowed people to be contacted even when they weren't home, but were out shopping, out on a date, or at the park with their kids. Having social networking at the office is just another way for employers to demand even more of our free time, without explicitly writing it out in the contract.

Comment: Re:while he is right... (Score 1) 103

The problem I find is that Android wasn't designed for the tablet. It was designed for the phone. The whole model OS was built with the assumption that it was going to run on very low spec hardware on a very small screen. Hence the limitations such as requiring all apps to run full screen, and the operating system's ability to kill an application (or the activity) at any time, leaving the developer to jump through hoops to make sure that information isn't lost. Tablets (and many phones) come with 2 GB or more of RAM, so there's very little need to manage applications in this way. Of course, they left out an easy way to actually close applications, so going back on that decision now seems difficult.

I think that the fact that Samsung has added multiple apps at the same time kind of shows that people really do want this feature, and that Google is being stubborn by not implementing it in standard Android. Even MS has realized that the simple 2 app split screen isn't enough for people, and will allow windowed apps on the desktop in Windows 10.

I think the major problem for MS right now is that Surface Pro is just really expensive. The starting price is quite high. I think next iteration, they should offer a model with an Atom/Baytrail processor (or whatever the current low power x86 option is) without a digitizer and include the keyboard by default, to bring the price down to what more people are willing to pay for a laptop. If they can get it around $400-$500, then I think a lot of people would opt for it over a more traditional laptop, and they wouldn't need to buy a tablet. Or if they bought a tablet it would be a cheap, 7 inch, $100 tablet that they could just throw in a bag and not have to worry about too much, but which really wouldn't be a productivity device. Once you have have 10+ inch tablet, it's really nice to be able to use it for real computing tasks, because it gets expensive enough that it's hard to justify such a high price for something that you're just using to read books, watch movies, and check facebook.

Comment: Re:while he is right... (Score 2, Interesting) 103

On tablets, the only thing that makes Android better than Windows 8 is the sheer number of apps. Other than that, the actual OS itself is worse in just about every way I can think of. First on large tablets, it's nice to be able to show multiple apps at the same time, and vanilla Android can't do this. It's also nice to be able to map network drives and have all the apps be able to read from them. Android can't do this. Android doesn't come with a command line. Windows has 2. And that's just things that Windows 8 RT does that Android doesn't. Once you get into Windows x86, and the huge list of actual Windows applications it supports, there's no comparison between the two. Android works great on phones, but on tablets it's way too limited, and I'd much rather ne running Windows 8 over Android or iOS.

Comment: Re:TWC are (surprise, surprise) crooks and thieves (Score 2) 223

by CastrTroy (#48378099) Attached to: Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising
This is basically what happened in Canada. Here's my only problem. Since they are in charge of the last mile, when something goes wrong with the lines, they prioritize based on who is their customer. The only way the other ISPs can communicate with them is via email, and they can't really do too much if the big boys are being slow about fixing the problem. This is why the lines should be taken back, and managed by an impartial third party, who's only job it is to manage the lines, and isn't involved in selling internet service.

Comment: Re:Simple fix (Score 3, Insightful) 158

by CastrTroy (#48363363) Attached to: Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals
I need food to eat. If I don't eat, I can't generate income. But I can't deduct it on my personal taxes. I also have to get to work, but I can't claim any transportation amounts on my personal taxes. I need to wear clothes to work, often more expensive ones than I would generally wear if I wasn't at work, but I can't deduct the cost of clothes. But a corporation can claim deductions for any expenses whatsoever. There's almost nothing that a business can spend money on that doesn't qualify as a deduction. Whereas for individuals, only a very small percentage of what I spend my money on actually qualifies as a deduction, and most of it isn't related in any way to my employment. Things like medical expenses and charitable donations are tax deductible, but don't really have much relation to me actually generating income.

Comment: Re:Simple fix (Score 3, Interesting) 158

by CastrTroy (#48362771) Attached to: Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals
I think the only way to tax companies is to tax them on revenues rather than profits. The can always reinvest, shift around, or hide profits, but revenues are a lot harder to hide. I don't get to discount all my operating expenses on my personal income tax, why should a corporation be allowed to do the same. Either don't tax the corporations at all, and increase sales and/or income taxes to make up the difference, or tax corporations in a way that they can't avoid them so easily.

Comment: Re:Oh no (Score 1) 297

by CastrTroy (#48353823) Attached to: Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes
Interesting. But I think there were a few other problem with the diet of the holocaust victims other than just looking at the calories. They probably didn't get all the nutrients they needed from 350g of bread, 500ml of coffee, and 1L of potato or turnip soup. Also, these were work camps, and it's likely that many people in these camps had to expend a lot of calories. Also, they did not have great accommodations. They probably would have used a lot of calories just to stay warm at night.

Comment: Re:Submit the request! (Score 1) 231

by CastrTroy (#48353145) Attached to: Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet
Exactly. People who come up with these ideas have no concept of the technology of how the internet works. To enforce a license for accessing the internet, they would need to circumvent all the secure methods of communication between individuals on the internet. You either have to block all traffic that you don't understand, or people are going to be able to trivially communicate anonymously over the internet. Any time I connect via SSH to my hosting service, connecting to a VPN, or making an HTTPS connection to any website, I could be communicating anonymously with anybody else on the internet. The protocols are secure, and they can't tell who I'm talking to. The messages sent to the server I'm talking to could be forwarded on to anywhere else in the world.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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