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Comment: Re:Politics aside for a moment. (Score 1) 335

It's also rather difficult to discipline a child that would turn around and threaten the parent with a social services report for abuse.

I'm the oldest of eight... my youngest brother tried that stunt when he was 14; I was visiting at the time of the incident, and the little punk was acting out, thinking he was a badass (all of us boys did that, and we all learned the hard way that the old man will call your bluff without hesitation). Anyrate, the cops did indeed show up, and my old man told him exactly what happened, and then said "...and if he wants to go into foster care so bad, I'd love to drop him off into it right about now." The cop laughed. One of my sisters immediately chimed in and asked if she could have his bedroom after he leaves, and another offered to help him pack. I just sat back laughing my ass off, as my little brother's face turned rather pale.

Needless to say, the officer politely declined, and after he left, *everyone* looked at the poor kid like he just screwed up big-time. I offered to take the little guy out back and have a chat with him, and my father agreed (I was 24 at the time); 15 minutes later he was apologizing from the bottom of his very soul (though he still wound up grounded for two months).

Mind you this was in Arkansas, where you were practically allowed to beat your kids to within an inch of their lives if needed, so YMMV.

Comment: Re:Politics aside for a moment. (Score 1) 335

You kind of forgot the primaries there. ;)

During the primaries, I'm very sure that folks like Fauxcohantas (err, Elizabeth Warren), Cuomo, and at least a few other Democrat candidates are going to want a shot at the job, and the Clintons have a *huge* amount of bones in the closet for the other Democrat candidates to drag out and show off (...and I'm talking skeletons that got shoved in there -after- Hilary's 2008 run.) Sure, the Clintons are a political powerhouse, but I suspect that the primaries are going to decimate her chances of winning; for one, she's a very polarizing figure, and two, assuming she even survives the primaries, she'll emerge from them too weakened to do much of anything.

In retrospect, the Democrats got lucky when Obama showed up, because the party's bench is pretty shallow at best, and has been for quite a few years now. In the present, looking at her GOP opposition, they're busy winnowing out the candidates *now*, a full year ahead of time (mostly due to the establishment/RINO versus Tea Party struggles), which will have the side effect of keeping the primary fighting to a minimum. Example? Well, the recent CPAC showed that the 'crowned' establishment candidate (Jeb Bush) got creamed in the straw polling, as did a lot of the retread 'perennial candidates' (e.g. Huckabee and his pals), and it showed that Christie wasn't going anywhere at all. Instead, like it or not, a handful of rather muscular candidates came out of the fray, and I suspect that the Democrats are going to need a lot more than Hillary to get anywhere. But again, their bench looks pretty shallow (if anyone on the DNC side of things know of someone who would make a better candidate that isn't as instantly polarizing, please speak up, but I have yet to see anyone...)

Comment: Re:Politics aside for a moment. (Score 1) 335

Weird... I suspect though that your experience is extremely localized.

Up here in Portland/PDX Metro, white folk is pretty much all you see, save for parts of Hillsboro (Latino), Beaverton (some East Asian, some Indian - nearly all of whom work for The Intel Corporation), and parts of 82nd St in East Portland (some Black, some Latino)... but even in these places, it's mostly crackers as far as the eye can see. Even "Chinatown" up here is mostly white. The small town of Cornelius (way west of Portland) has a very strong Latino population, but numbers-wise not that many.


What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft? 142

Posted by timothy
from the hypthetical-or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft spent billions purchasing Mojang, the studio behind the game Minecraft, and while it's unlikely to start work on a sequel anytime soon, rather than continue development of the game, it's worth considering what a Minecraft 2 will look like. After all, as a public company with revenues to justify, it doesn't seem beyond unreasonable a few years down the line, especially since a Minecraft-like game was one of the stand-out tech demos shown for the software giant's HoloLens augmented reality headset. As the author points out, Microsoft will have to tread carefully, tackling issues like whether greater graphical fidelity is actually what players will want ever — and whether to continue to support Minecraft on PlayStation."

Comment: Re:But what if they mix with the Virus Vault (Score 1) 55

If the human species needs instructions on how to plant a fucking seed, all of your above questions are irrelevant.

...so I give you a bag of seeds labelled "fwqnuiohuio", but don't tell you it's a plant that won't do very well outside of a warm-to-semi-tropical region, the plant fruits are underground but the plant itself is otherwise useless for food, it requires a *lot* of water during the latter phase of fruiting else you've wasted your time, and oh - it stands a great chance of giving a not-insignificant percentage of folks who eat the results a nasty case of anaphylactic shock.

Maybe cultural memories would help them recognize what a peanut is? Not sure if it'd help them know how to grow the things...

Comment: Re:But what if they mix with the Virus Vault (Score 2) 55

On a more reality-based note...

How in the hell are the survivors (who would be practically random) going to know...

1) that such a thing exists
2) where (exactly) it is
3) how to get there (and back) without dying of something in the process (exposure, starvation, ocean storms, etc)
4) (assuming generations later) how to read the content labels, instructions, etc ...?

It's a nice gesture and all for nearly any other scenario, but a *lot* of assumptions would have to be made for this to be viable in a no-shit doomsday scenario. At one point in human prehistory, it was estimated that a small extinction event reduced us to around 100k people, globally. That's a pretty scattered dispersion, and assuming a similar number of survivors in some future doomsday scenario, the odds are almost lottery-sized against putting it to use.

I'm not saying they should give up (far from it, actually) - I just think that maybe, just maybe they should expand on the idea a bit, and consider a few factors that seem awfully important when planning for a global doomsday scenario.

Comment: Re:This is completely bogus! (Score 2) 50

by Penguinisto (#49165765) Attached to: Interactive Edition of the Nuclear Notebook

Did you move the slider at all? It is in fact noteworthy that the page shows Israel has nearly doubled the size of its nuclear arsenal since worldwide arsenals peaked in '86.

Given the neighborhood and Iran's intent to make their own nukes, can you blame them?

Likewise, it's worth noting that Israel is *not* a member of the NPT.

...so who would they sell the tech to? Sometimes it makes no sense to bother with something when you're not liable to violate its precepts.

Comment: Re:Lost focus (Score 1) 50

by Penguinisto (#49165701) Attached to: Interactive Edition of the Nuclear Notebook

The tiny fraction can still wipe out the human race

Maybe, but that would depend on the location, timing and distribution of those explosions. If the balloon went up in 1987, yeah, the human race would pretty much be fscked. Nowadays, I'm not so sure that would be a given, considering that a not-insignificant percentage of those weapons would be destroyed in their silos, are undergoing maintenance at any given time, would fail to detonate completely or cleanly, or a whole host of other factors (and if either the US or Russia abstain from the exchange, then all bets are off as to the doomsday factor entirely.)

Comment: Re:This is a reflection of the aging Apple demogra (Score 5, Insightful) 193

by Penguinisto (#49165173) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

c. U2 is a "dad band", in that it really only appeals to people who are in the 40+ age bracket. This also happens to be what iDevices are increasingly seen as "dad-tech", something your dad tells you is the "best choice for everything" which you know is obviously wrong but fuck it, you'll take the free phone anyway since he's paying for it.

As one of those folks in the 40+ age bracket...

1) Back when us old farts were teenagers, U2 was considered somewhat revolutionary (and in a way they were). The music itself? Compared to the mass of dreck we had thrust upon our ears via radio in the 1980s? It wasn't half bad, but there was better out there (you just had to really go look for the good shit, in an age where the HTTP protocol didn't exist and the Internet was unknown to 99.99999% of the planet. This meant buying a shitload of blank cassettes, a wide circle of friends, and having a boom box with cassette-to-cassette recording capability.)

2) I once felt the same way towards my old man's 60's/70's Psychedelic/ProgRock collection (played on reel-to-reel no less!) that you feel towards a 1980's has-been band. However, my ears, like the rest of me, grew up - I inherited his collection, and after a cursory listen-through, am ripping the hell out of some of those reels to the audio-in on my home desktop machine (Thank Heavens for Audacity on Linux...) Good news, though! Old stuff, new stuff, in-between stuff... it doesn't matter to me any more; I find good stuff in every era, to the point where I have 78 RPM 'vinyl' with stuff I've ripped to FLAC. Mind you, I'm typing this as some rather kickass German industrial rock is pumping into my headset. Before that, The Temptations' Power was playing. Jazz musicians call it the act of having 'Big Ears', where you find and love good music from practically every genre. Someday, you'll get that too.

3) One fine day, *your* kids will point at your current favorite tech and laugh their asses off, as surely as I once laughed my ass off at inheriting my parents' old Amstrad 2286 (complete with maths co-processor!) and its dot-matrix printer... in 1997. Deny it all you want, I don't mind... I know different. ;)

Comment: Re:Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 2) 236

Wait... I thought the first proper zombie movie was Romero's Night of the Living Dead, set in Pennsylvania.

Besides, you have Triffids... be happy with that.


(That reminds me - you also have Quatermass; when the frig is someone over there going to resurrect that series?)

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.