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Comment: Re:Perl Is way better (Score 1) 538

by Chemicles (#37861840) Attached to: Is Perl Better Than a Randomly Generated Programming Language?

I agree, but you could say that about English too. You can try and communicate the same point in many different ways in English properly, but there's definitely a certain sentence structure that'll get your point across more easily with more people than other phrasings. It's not so much the fault of the language so much as it is the speaker's fault.

Although yes, having had to look at other people's Perl code and the fact that Perl allows this flexibility makes me :(

Comment: Re:Microsoft to Google... (Score 5, Insightful) 258

by Chemicles (#37570340) Attached to: Microsoft Security Products Flag Google Chrome As a Virus

Right. If some bug had been discovered in some open source software and was corrected in 2 hours, the comments on the story would be a circlejerk praising the open source community.

Microsoft realizes there's a bug, corrects it within 2 hours, and it's anti-competetive. Sheesh. They did a good job with a quick fix, can't we just acknowledge success when it happens?

Comment: Re:In preparation for the launch... (Score 1) 218

by Chemicles (#34474522) Attached to: Blizzard Launches Third <em>WoW</em> Expansion, <em>Cataclysm</em>

I'm glad you've found something else you really enjoy, like board games. That's fantastic that you find them more mentally stimulating and all that.

However, to demonize the game or anything like that because you felt like you played too much... it's not the game's fault. And I'm not trying to demonize you, either. It happens. I had a bout with WoW addiction as well and luckily managed to overcome it. Now, I play for a few hours at night, go to bed at a decent time, and get up for work in the morning and put in a productive day.

I love WoW now for the entertainment value. It is fun for me, and if I found whittling small wooden penguins to be entertaining, I would do that as well... but I don't. What would I accomplish by whittling? For me, it would be a waste of time. It wouldn't be fun, and at the end I would have nothing of value to me. Playing WoW for 5 minutes? I've done a quest, progressed my character, learned some lore, etc. Nothing material, but I had fun and was entertained for those 5 minutes.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is do what you enjoy, and everything within moderation. Don't enjoy WoW or can't play it in moderation? It's great that you've mustered the strength of will to remove all your connections to the game in an effort to not play it anymore. That is truly admirable and there are people that wouldn't be able to do that. But to say that one must "justify" their WoW playing "because of 20-40 other people in your guild wasting their lives away" is a little silly.

Comment: Re:Obvious? (Score 5, Informative) 115

by Chemicles (#33824854) Attached to: Saturn's Rings Formed From Large Moon Destruction
I think the article's content is more along the lines of "this new theory explains how Saturn's rings were formed, with their particular composition, while also explaining the other nearly-pure ice moons in the vicinity". The theory in the article is a little more comprehensive than "Saturn's rings were caused by a collision" (even though the summary was lacking information and seemed to imply that... go figure).

Comment: Re:Two words: rubbing alcohol (Score 4, Interesting) 597

by Chemicles (#33455244) Attached to: AMD Hates Laptop Stickers As Much As You Do

Agreed. The reason WD40, baby oil, and rubbing alcohol all work great (as opposed to water) is because they are much more non-polar than water and dissolve the adhesives and other goop from the stickers much more easily. Anyone remember "like dissolves like" from general chemistry?

Rubbing alcohol is my preferred goop cleaner because, as the parent says, it's cheap and lasts for years.

Comment: Re:Vapor? (Score 1) 283

by Chemicles (#33166566) Attached to: Gasoline From Thin Air

Cars powered by natural gas is an already proven technology. Why do we keep inventing more "alternative" energy sources when we've got ones that work now?

Unfortunately, just because it "works" doesn't make it a viable alternative. This article talks about converting a product of incomplete combustion (carbon monoxide) into something useful. Adding a piece of equipment that could do this to a car that already runs on gasoline could make cars pollute less and run further on a given amount of fuel. It would be relatively easy to adopt, instead of having to create an entirely new fuel delivery infrastructure like using natural gas would.

Comment: Re:wow (Score 2, Informative) 439

by Chemicles (#32851454) Attached to: Colleges Stepping Up Anti-Cheating Technology

Amen to that. The University of Michigan's College of Engineering has an honor code such that the professors and TAs are not even allowed in the room while the students are taking an exam. It'll show in your work if you cheated your way to a degree, especially in engineering. I'm curious what other universities have such policies.

And yes, universities do have an incentive to reduce cheating (they don't want other graduates to suffer from guilt by association) but like you said, it's nice not to be treated like a criminal by default.

Patents

Beware the King of the Patent Trolls 286

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lotta-fresh-air-under-the-bridge dept.
superapecommando writes "If you haven't heard of Intellectual Ventures, you may want to check this out. Set up by ex-Microsoftie Nathan Myhrvold, with investments from Microsoft among others, it is basically a patenting machine – filing and buying them in huge quantities. Note that it doesn't actually use these patents – except to threaten people with. In other words, Intellectual Ventures is a patent troll – or, rather the King of the Patent Trolls. So I was interested to come across this extremely positive blog post on the company. That it is so positive is hardly surprising, since the blog is called 'Tangible IP,' and subtitled 'ipVA's blog on adding value through intellectual property.' Nonetheless, it provides valuable insights into the mindset of fans of intellectual monopolies. Here's what it says about Intellectual Ventures: 'They are an invention house, and have adopted and reinvented leading edge patent strategies to create a portfolio of their own IP which, in its own, would be of high high worth.' They don't invent anything in the proper, deep sense of the word; they merely file and buy patents – with no intent of ever making stuff or solving real-life problems."
Games

Do Game Demos Have an Adverse Effect On Sales? 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-buy-the-cow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Unigamesity has an analysis of the effects game demos and beta tests have on the full release of video games. Quoting: 'If we think about LittleBigPlanet, Age of Conan or Mirror's Edge, we notice they have two things in common: very successful and well received demo versions (or beta stages) and very poor, lower than anticipated game sales. And since these are not the only titles in which a demo (or the lack of it) appears to be connected with their commercial success, I believe we should analyze the influence demos have in the game world and debate: are game demos game killers?'"
The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-ritchie-chaz-and-margot? dept.
dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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