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Comment: Re:Why the &%#$@ does CENTCOM (Score 1) 128

by Gryle (#48815663) Attached to: US Central Command's Twitter Account Hacked, Filled With Pro-ISIS Messages
Your stepson is fighting what's called the "kinetic" fight. That's the part where guns, bigger guns, and a whole lot of ammunition and ordinance are pointed at the enemy. YouTube and Twitter are part of what's called the "non-kinetic" war, which is a fancy term for "propaganda battle" or "making the world think we're the good guys." And frankly, Islamic insurgent groups (IS/ISIS/ISIL in particular) are winning that war (at least in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a number of other predominately Muslim countries) through Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking sites. So back to your original question: CENTCOM has a Twitter account for public relations purposes. It pushes "the good news stories" and tries to make the US look like the good guy.

Comment: Re:Who will get (Score 1) 360

by Gryle (#48659553) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down
From what I understand (having talked to a lot of soldiers who've been stationed in South Korea), US presence is something of a contentious issue. Broadly speaking, the older generations who remember the Korean War prefer the US to stay, while the younger generations would prefer the US leave. (There's also a small segment of the younger generation that agitates for faster progress on re-unification now and then). A few soldiers I talked to told me stories of the elders going out to protests against US presence and smacking the protestors trying to get them to go home. As the older generation dies off, the resistance to US presence will increase.

Comment: Re:TPB Decentralized (Score 1) 251

by Gryle (#48572017) Attached to: Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down
The problem with specialized torrent sites are the membership requirements, either in terms of existing torrents to add that don't already exist or money. I've belonged to one specialized site that approached this correctly. You were given an initial amount of credits that could be applied to downloads. The only way to get more credit was to seed your files. The more you seeded, the more files you could download. Donations went strictly to pay for maintenance and hosting costs, but there was no requirement to spend money. Everything was organized, tagged, and easily searchable. Poor formats or bad files were marked usually within a hour of being posted and admins would delete these usually within 24 hours to avoid cluttering search results. Sadly the site shutdown last year with no warning (or at least none that I saw), I suspect at the behest of some three or four-letter agency.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile (Score 1) 310

Considering The Great Flood wiped out all but one human family from the world I'd say that's a pretty horrifying event. Further, as a practicing Christian, I'll say you have a really incomplete understanding of the Bible. There's assassinations (Judges 3:12-30), murder to cover up an illegitimate pregnancy (2 Samuel 11), incestuous rape (2 Samuel 13), and daughters seducing their father (Genesis 19:36). Granted most of these are portrayed in a bad light (guys like Ehud being an exception) but unless Saturn was inhabited when Sephiroth destroys it (I haven't played that game so I don't know) I'd say the Bible's body-count is pretty high compared to a lot of video games out there.

Comment: Re:Sounds like movie reviews (Score 1) 474

This particularly holds true for book ordered through Amazon. The spike in sales pushes up the product ranking making the item look more popular, since sales velocity has a strong effect on how Amazon ranks the popularity of an item. Larry Correia, a writer, occasionally does what he calls "Book Bombs" where he'll encourages his fans to go buy a book for a writer he likes on a particular date. The sales spike usually pushes the book's Amazon ranking up helping it get (temporarily anyway) more page views from folks who might not ordinarily browse it.

Comment: Re:Sounds like movie reviews (Score 1) 474

That's part of it, though for certain platforms like Steam logistics is less of an issue (really, all you're accounting for there is an increase in traffic load). The other part is accounting. Since the money for the pre-order has already been given it makes the company books looks healthier. Then (and don't ask me how this next part works because I've had CPAs explain it to me multiple times and I still don't understand it) the accountants / sales department can project Day One (and beyond) sales and estimate how much money they expect to make, which makes the company books look healthier than they actually are. A cheap trick certainly but it's rampant in the various entertainment industries including books and music.

That being said, I'm not against pre-orders. I've pre-ordered books before, titles from authors I'm 90% certain I'll enjoy. I do regret my Skyrim pre-order though, mostly because the PC version was buggy as heck when it first came out and it took significant patching before it was playable on my system.

Comment: Re:They're probably correct (Score 1) 273

by Gryle (#48318053) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart
This is huge. I'm not particularly gifted, maybe slightly above average intelligence, but I sailed through high school with very little effort for the most part. My freshman year of college was, bluntly, a disaster because I wasn't prepared for the time investment required by my field of study. I learned more study habits in that first year of college than in the previous four years of high school combined.

Comment: Re:Not cool, Stripe (Score 1) 353

by Gryle (#48310151) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies
I don't know that this is a political decision. As others have already commented, Stripe's legal team probably decided it wasn't worth the liability they could incur.

That being said, where exactly do you draw the line between personal ethics and business ethics? I've been thinking about that a lot in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court. On the one hand, we want equal treatment for all. On the other hand, people shouldn't be required to sacrifice their personal principals just to go into business.

Comment: Re:Redistribution (Score 1) 739

by Gryle (#48282475) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Every single government thing involving any money at all is an income redistribution plan.

Corporate tax benefits are income redistribution plans. Military spending budgets are income redistribution plans. Spectrum auctions are income redistribution plans.

This particular income redistribution plan is only different in that income is redistributed to the poor instead of the rich.

I'll buy your bit about military spending and spectrum auctions, but I'm not following your logic on corporate tax benefits. I'm assuming "tax benefits" means "not paying tax on something". I'm don't quite follow how not collecting taxes on something is the same thing as income redistribution. Could you elaborate?

Comment: Re:Time for a revolution (Score 3, Informative) 424

by Gryle (#48233913) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required
To be fair, terrorism was around before the US was a major player in world affairs. It's also been aimed at more governments than just the US: the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the French Monarchy (the Jacobians were arguably a terrorist group), West Germany, etc.

Documentation is the castor oil of programming. Managers know it must be good because the programmers hate it so much.