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Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 626

by gstoddart (#47781029) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

"Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie,"

Those gullible Canadians, buying 550 metric tons of non-existant yellow cake.

You should learn to fact check a little better:

Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's nuclear efforts.

Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

Or, as the New York Times stated more plainly:

The yellowcake removed from Iraq was not the same yellowcake that President Bush claimed, in a now discredited section of his 2003 State of the Union address, that Mr. Hussein was trying to purchase in Africa.

The U.S. did manage to ameliorate a substantial security concern by secretly shipping stored yellowcake out of Iraq in mid-2008, but that act was not, as claimed above, proof that Iraq had been purchasing uranium and attempting to restart its nuclear program prior to the U.S. invasion.

Because you're full of shit.

Comment: Re:They won't (Score 1) 110

by gstoddart (#47777833) Attached to: Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

Aka "I pulled my initial claim out of my ass".

No, I pulled it from the Linux Mint VM I have which didn't give me any obvious mechanism to do something as trivial as setting my search provider to Google.

If it isn't in the drop down list, and I have to play hunt the wumpus to figure out WTF I need to be doing to add it, I'll stand by my initial assertion ... that, for whatever reason, they've made setting Google as a search provider less than easy or obvious.

Google is not in the default list, after spending a small amount of time trying to figure out how to do it, I gave up on the Distro entirely.

Comment: Bah ... (Score 5, Interesting) 122

by gstoddart (#47777563) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

The hookers come out at night to screw their clients, the stock market guys get up early to screw all of us.

Everything in the middle depends on who your clients are, and type of industry you're in.

Educated people see daylight (or get paid a premium), less educated get shift work.

I don't even need to read TFA to know these things. ;-)

And, yes, I'm mostly kidding.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 5, Insightful) 626

by gstoddart (#47777487) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Some times non-invasive therapies are indicated, but quite often the best course is surgery. Sadly, what we have in the White House is a "herbal remedies" charlatan...

Right, as opposed to the previous guy, who went into Iraq to settle his daddy's score, and based on "intelligence" which was provably NOT true at the time? The overly simplistic moron who said "you're either with us or with the terrorists" when there was no connection between the war and what they said it was for? The one whose administration said they'd pay for that little jaunt with all the oil money you'd be getting? The one who started the sledge-hammer of an agency which is DHS?

Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie, there were no WMDs, they weren't sponsoring terrorism, and had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

You mean that kind of "surgery", where you blunder around with pointy objects in the dark making a lot of noise and hoping everyone swoons over your manliness?

Because, really the chimpanzee who was Bush the Second didn't exactly do anything with surgical precision. He wasn't even in the right country until far too late, and the country you did invade is falling into civil war.

So, tell us another story, please. But, we're still not buying it.

Comment: Re:Dominion & Munchkin (Score 1) 318

by gstoddart (#47777369) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Yup, a former co-worker introduced me to these kind of games.

Any my immediate response was "why the hell have I had to put up with these other shitty games for so long?"

For many of us, the games like Monopoly were no fun, and made themselves less fun when taken to their extremes.

I like the mechanics of the game play of the German style games, and the social nature of them -- we can all laugh that you had something happen, because nobody is ganging up on you, and the conditions for someone "winning" could be completely random. Because one player getting hammered on until they're eliminated means they'll probably never play with you again.

Playing with a super competitive "I must win at any cost" person sucks all the fun out of a game, and isn't conducive to bringing in new people, or having a quick game where the stakes don't ratchet up into someone's mania about winning.

Screw that, I want my leisure time to be about fun, not magnifying the antisocial tendencies of one of the players. :-P

Want a fun game? Try one where a 5 year old might beat you with a random turn of a card and absolutely no strategy, instead of one in which you can feel good about yourself by constantly beating a 5 year old.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1, Interesting) 626

by gstoddart (#47777183) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

So USA isn't a bully?

I said nothing of the sort.

I said that sometimes you call the bluff of the "bully", and discover it isn't a bluff, and that the bully is far more dangerous than anybody realized.

Everything else, that's all your baggage and not mine.

I'm no more convinced that the Ukrainian government is blameless than I am that the 'referendum' wasn't rigged, and carried out by people who are, historically speaking, relatively new to Ukraine, and not actually representative of the entire population.

So, if all the Chinese Americans in California decided they were forming their own country, how would you feel about that?

I have a fairly simple rule: there's at least one more side to any story than that are actors involved. Which makes this a complex and multi-faceted thing where anybody who says "all of these people say this" are being overly reductionist.

But, I also know other Ukrainian expats who feel this is something which is being brought about by what are essentially Russian people who have been in Ukraine for however long and have decide they want to separate and join Russia.

So, either I conclude you're wrong, they're wrong, or like all things like this ... it's much more complicated and attempt to distill it down to one point is hopeless.

Comment: Re:old school ?? (Score 1) 318

by gstoddart (#47776979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

#1 STOP USING 'old school', you aren't, and you sound like a douche bag.

OK, Grandpa, yes, we know it's all been downhill since the hoop and stick you used to play with ... but, really, the Atari 2600 came out in 1977, and really is considered "old school" by pretty much everybody as far as video games are concerned.

While you might be nostalgic for the old steam powered games of your youth, anybody up to the age of 50 considers the Atari 2600 as old school. Because prior to that was Pong, and actual mechanical pin-ball.

Now, do you need a blanket or a cup of tea? You're disturbing the children, and they're not actually on your lawn. ;-)

Comment: Re:Dominion & Munchkin (Score 1) 318

by gstoddart (#47776599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

I've actually played Pandemic a few times.

And it's in a class of games which are either best played cooperatively, or which completely make the game mechanics drive the play.

Some co-workers used to play games at lunch -- in fact, they probably still do.

And the appeal of these games isn't "ha ha, I beat you". It's more like "Doh, Bob got eaten by a weasel, causing Sally to fall down the stairs, and when the flower pot landed on Steve's head he won." The victory/conclusion conditions change the dynamic of the play a lot -- to the extent that sometimes it's hilarious to be the one who "loses" or triggers the end of the game.

For many of us, we prefer it when the game mechanics preclude personal scores, or when one person gets to play king maker.

The games are much more social that way, and for many of us, that is a very big plus in games.

In fact, for many of us, games like Monopoly suck, because it's all about beating your opponents into the ground, or other things which suck the fun out of the game. And games which eliminate players means for the remainder of the game everyone is just sort of going "well, that wasn't really fun, and it's over, but they'll be at it a while".

It's a completely different style of play, and it is much more focused on play and having fun, than winning at all costs. And it means one person doesn't always win the game, and everyone else decides they have better things to do.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 4, Interesting) 626

by gstoddart (#47776333) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

You know how you deal with a playground bully? You stand up to his crap, get people behind you, and call his bluff.

Which works really well right up until you discover the schoolyard bully is a little unhinged, and is playing out of his own book because he believes his own story.

And then you discover it's not a bluff, and then things get really hairy.

Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Hitler, not so much with the bluffing.

And I'm not so sure about Putin either.

Comment: Hmmm .... (Score 1) 318

by gstoddart (#47775979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Old Skool: The Mario Bros and Donkey Kong games are where my heart lies. 2D side scrollers.

Tabletop: I've always loved the German style board/card games -- fun for the whole family, the outcome is pretty much random, and someone doesn't get ganged up on or eliminated early in play. The goofier the premise the better, it's the mechanics which makes them enjoyable to play in groups, and sometimes strategy is pointless or impossible.

New Skool: I'm afraid I'm pretty much eternally hooked on Skyrim. I like not being constrained to a linear plot or where I can go.

My wife and some of our friends are also huge fans of the Kinect games, because drunk people dancing is hilarious. Also good for a girls exercise night, while the guys play a golf video game.

I also miss my copies of Rock Band/Guitar Hero ... because I learned to appreciate a vast amount of music and greatly expanded my music collection as a result of it. The sheer amount of punk rock I now own is directly attributable to those games.

For those of us who are old and creaky, and grew up where video games took quarters, and had a joystick and two buttons ... many modern games left us in the dust years ago, and simply stopped being fun. I doubt I could beat a 6 year old at a first person shooter.

Comment: Re:They won't (Score 1) 110

by gstoddart (#47775545) Attached to: Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

From their own page, right now:

Linux Mint recommends the following search engines:
Engine Preserves your privacy Funds Linux Mint Description
        Yahoo The 2nd largest search engine on the Web, full of features.
        DuckDuckGo A safe and secure engine providing augmented Yahoo results.
        Ixquick A safe and secure engine gathering results from multiple search engines.
        Startpage A safe and secure engine providing augmented Google results.
        Amazon The largest online store.
        Wikipedia The largest online encyclopedia.

Why aren't some search engines included in Linux Mint?

Engines are included based on the following criteria:

        Funding: Whether using the engine funds Linux Mint
        Privacy: Whether the engine provides users with best-in-class privacy/security features
        Non-commercial: Whether the engine is popular and non-commercial

So, sorry, but for whatever reason in the version I had Google wasn't an option -- and figuring out what was required to change it wasn't worth it for me.

I was shopping for a distribution, not an ideology.

Comment: Re:They won't (Score 5, Insightful) 110

by gstoddart (#47775023) Attached to: Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

I completely fail to comprehend why most Slashdotters seem to push everyone towards DRM'ed iPads and Chromebooks that put Palladium to shame instead of more open Windows PCs.

I guess it's more about Microsoft hate and the desire to bring them down than software freedom.

You know, it's as much about giving our friends and family a user experience which a) won't drive them insane, and b) won't make them come to us for tech support.

And, really, for many of us this whole "software freedom" thing is a little overplayed.

I've always found Stallman to be a bit of a crank, and the vast majority of people hear this stuff, and they think of teenagers spouting Marxist theory because the school cafeteria switched from Coke to Pepsi ... it becomes a little tired and melodramatic.

I'd wager that 99% of all people will never audit their IP stack, recompile their browser, or otherwise want any involvement in this stuff. They want the latest cool thing, and not some near approximation of it which comes in a kit.

What they want is a tool to get the stuff done they need/want to, and they want it with as little hair pulling as possible.

And, really, let's be honest here ... Windows is no more (or less) open than Apple, and in the places where they're more open, they're trying to be less, just like Apple. Everybody wants their own walled garden.

Hell, I installed a Linux Mint VM image a while back, and it wasn't even possible to set the search provider to Google, apparently because it's not ideologically pure enough or something.

So, if my Mom was looking for a tablet ... I'm going to find her one which suits her needs and will work for her, and I am never going to say "ZOMG, but this software is teh free".

Because my Mom already rolls her eyes at the rest of my loony rants, and doesn't give a damn about software freedom.

So, if you want to know why people aren't doing this, it's because when someone starts screaming "viva la revolucion" over software freedom, people roll their eyes and try to get distance from you.

Don't get me wrong, I likes me some Open Source software. But, have I built an entire ideology around it? Hell no.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson