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Comment: This is about hypocritical morals (Score 1) 1080

by DThorne (#49260971) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

Animals by the thousands are being killed every hour to keep the meat machine going (I eat meat), so this shouldn't be a problem. What you need to do to guarantee a simple, virtually foolproof method of execution is a variation on a single bullet to the head. Russians have been doing that for years - no suffering or lingering, just ending the life by a shredding of the centre of everything that allows what we consider a person to be aware. The end. Hanging is a leftover from older methods of torture, the electric chair was a political decision, same as the gas chamber. Those two are positively absurd as machines to end human life - one is some sort of horror show to see how much torturing you can do via overloading the nervous system and frying the body, the other a variation on suffocation - generally considered to be one of the worst ways to go. The firing squad is a formalized lottery to protect the "blame" for the death by multiplying the possibility of failure and hoping the numbers crunch out right. The guillotine is a technology update on a reasonably sound principle which worked for years as a quick termination but sadly still has some notable failures. All of these are about methods of trying to make the notion of the state killing an individual somehow more "humane" or acceptable. Hypocrisy.
Do I personally think the state should be killing people as policy? Nope. Just pointing out the obvious. One bullet to the brain will kill a person instantly.

Comment: Re: Funniest headline I've seen all day (Score 1) 223

by DThorne (#49187835) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

Speaking as a born and bred Canuck, you are exactly right. Within a day, two messages came forth from the powers that be: it's not illegal to spock a fiver, and this, which I would categorize as a passive aggressive mother's request that you are welcome to keep practising your trombone but I've got this headache that shoots right up and through my temples. Just wait until your father gets home!

Comment: Re: I've got this (Score 1) 400

by DThorne (#49016605) Attached to: An Argument For Not Taking Down Horrific Videos

There seems to be a confusion of "freedom of speech" and the rights of a provider to decide for themselves what they wish to propagate. I certainly wouldn't suggest that anyone be "forced" to take down videos, but if a provider has a video showing someone being burned alive, if they decide that those two words are sufficient to convey the horror of the act without needing to show the act itself, I totally defend their right to withhold it. We're being assaulted on all sides by media reporting acts of violence more than ever before, and with more immediacy than history has ever seen. Beheading, lynching, torture, water boarding, all of those terrible things that humans have done to each other over it's entire history, have never been more available to see in graphic detail by so many. This used to be the lot of people who had to go fight, now the whole family can watch it. I'm not arguing for taking a step back, but I would like to point out that seeing a horrific video isn't going to suddenly open my eyes to the world's horror, and that government and media brainwashing of the masses is just as prevalent, if not moreso, than it was when I was a kid in the 70's. All they tend to do is desensitize the viewer. Blindly shrieking "freedom of speech!" doesn't make torture porn news reports more acceptable, nor does it mean that the average viewer is woefully undereducated in what is actually going on in the world.

Comment: Headsets (Score 1) 420

by DThorne (#48704839) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

Nothing's perfect, but it depends mightily on your line of work. I work in VFX where the age tends to be low and plugging into your music when you need to focus on your shot is extremely common. Otherwise it's more about being different from a warren of disconnected offices rather than always better or worse. I haven't worked from a sealed office in many many years and I don't miss it in the slightest. For the record, I'm not young. :-)

Comment: Re:The only winning move.... (Score 3, Insightful) 435

by DThorne (#43566013) Attached to: New Console Always-Online Requirements and <em>You</em>

It's evolution - either it survives or it doesn't, users will cave or they won't. MS will bring back the start menu or they won't - this can be applied to pretty much everything. So yeah, vote with your wallet, that's *all* MS cares about, like any other corporation. If there's some seriously flawed security issues in the implementation, make it public so users enjoying the service can be informed. But a "hell no we won't go... ONLINE!" flashmob? Please. Let the natural order decide and if it grinds your gears all that much best to buy an apple orchard and keep the local kids out of it - better use of your time.
I use steam all the time, a PS3 less so, I get some value from being connected, but it's nice to know if I wanted to I have offline mode with steam. MS will likely give me less choice so I probably won't invest.

Comment: The mistake is assuming time is being measured (Score 1) 736

by DThorne (#42881913) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

Apart from genuinely broken progress paradigms, I think users have the expectation that progress gives them a meaningful representation of 'time remaining'. That is really hard to determine, due to all the variables mentioned in this thread. I am in my xen space if I am 1. Reasonably warned ahead of time that the process might take as much as xx minutes, and 2. The indicator is actually giving me feedback that shit is happening, as opposed to "I'm stuck". Given the range of hardware and possible combinations of installed software, I don't think there's a problem at all if I get those two pieces of information.


Comment: Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez (Score 1) 33

by DThorne (#41892205) Attached to: Self-Assembling Robots Using Flying Drones

This is basically that book, using lights instead of scent detection. I think the scent angle has more promise, doesn't need LOS, but then again you're at the mercy of air currents. Oh, and we're all doomed, m'kay?

It's a fun read, btw. While the characters are formulaic, Suarez is one of those rare authors that doesn't talk down to his audience when it comes to science.

Comment: Re:So fucking what? (Score 2) 349

by DThorne (#41727405) Attached to: Black Sheep Blackberry Blackballed By Business

You really think it means nothing that a CEO of a major corporation(and countless other CEOs and business leaders) do something like this? I know, not to you personally, obviously, but this is how trends and perceptions are started and propagated. The story is about how screwed RIM is, and I think this is a valid thing for them to be worried about. Sure, RIM might possibly survive as a hardcore business technology if they get their act together and focus on that rather than poorly attempting to be 'cool', but just because you're disdainful of 'shallow' features like social media(which for many businesses is increasingly critical) and whipping out your phone and showing a client an awesome new game/learning tool/organization tool and impressing the hell out of them, and also loosening up the atmosphere to boot, doesn't mean others do too. It's less about shame and more about staying current.

Comment: Notice to tech gadget corporations (Score 1) 51

by DThorne (#41567445) Attached to: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Jailbroken

When I first saw ads for Paperwhite, I was sort of meh, I've been using my Transformer Prime/Razr to read books, my Kindle went to my wife. Why another gadget? This notice made me look again...and I'm betting I'll never find a reason to want to actually root it. Just the fact that root-ability is out there attracts a segment of the demographic. I'm thinking I want one of these now...

Comment: Re:Python 2.7.3 is the new IE6 (Score 2) 131

by DThorne (#41500599) Attached to: Python 3.3.0 Released

In the VFX community, you pretty much stray from 2.6 at your peril, and certainly 3.x is a no-fly option if you want to stay 'current' with the latest apps. It's incredibly frustrating, since the previous 'standard', if you could call it that, was TCL, and python is better on so many levels...but this has tainted it mightily.

Comment: Re:poor (Score 1) 378

by DThorne (#41107713) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils First New Company Logo In 25 Years

You know, it's a little disappointing to see the snide comments suffixed with variations of 'my 8 year old could have done that'. It just shows an ignorance of the design process, which has nothing to do with the simplicity or complexity of the final result. I'm not a big fan of the final result - there's nothing wrong with expressing a love or hate for the direction - but please don't belittle the difficulty of the challenge of taking a very old, established identity and updating it after a quarter century of imprinting itself on the public consciousness. It's hard work. Not only do you have to distill numerous directions from the client and please yourself, but I can imagine navigating the labyrinth of MS approvals must have been a nightmare.

I think that compared to the complete misfire that is Win8, the new logo is a blinding success.

Comment: It's such a tough call (Score 0) 415

...because it's subjective. My story - I had a Xoom and bought a Kindle...and I started reading fiction again, which I had forsaken and just couldn't get into on the Xoom because of the form factor. Kindle was perfect, I loved e-ink and the closeness to print. Then I got a Transformer Prime...and I gave my Kindle to my wife! I use the Transformer for all reading - fiction, graphic, technical, pdfs... I simply liked the convenience of all-in-one. The form factor just got 'good enough' for me to put up with that little more weight to have all my stuff on one device. I would imagine the new Nexus 7 would fit that bill even moreso. No-one was more surprised than I - I really liked the Kindle, but the multi-use and lack of yet another device to lug around won me over. So, FWIW.

Btw I left Apple out of this since we don't touch that stuff in our house. :) I'm sure the ipad is a solid ereader.

Comment: Re:Streaming video (Score 2) 411

by DThorne (#40893615) Attached to: Curiosity Lands On Mars

The important thing is that there was something for people to whine about, and exclaim how much better they could have done it. I keep forgetting half of Slashdot 'culture' is about trying to upstage every living thing on the planet, as opposed to, oh I don't know, maybe just revelling in a major achievement for the human race?

Comment: Re:They've turned their backs on Steve (Score 1) 221

by DThorne (#40885181) Attached to: Apple Comes Clean, Admits To Doing Market Research

Honestly, *every* company out there has people in positions of power that halt things that 'suck'. Gates killed the MS ebook reader in the cradle. The issue is whether they're right or wrong(in the context of making a profitable product). The only reason Jobs/Apple is being perceived any differently is the godlike aura cast around him by media and the Faithful and their incredible success.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden