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Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 306

by Keybounce (#49366827) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

Because smart people don't seem to want the job.

Because an ordinary person cannot be elected without some sort of backing.
And, because those that can back a person don't want to back someone that will vote intelligently.

The cost to back someone to be in politics is basically an investment, made by those with business connections, for the purpose of those business investments.

No facts or studies to back this up; this is just observations over decades.

There are smart people that want the job.
Smart does not equal rich, or connected.

Comment: Re: This is Texas! (Score 1) 591

by Keybounce (#48975257) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

I've personally do not know of ANY unemployed invisible people. Now that's math!

Invisible people live in the Swiss Alps, wear heavy jackets to cover up when out in public, and trade stocks and commodities for a living.

There was a movie documentary about that a few years ago, what was it called again?

Comment: What about: Quality / DASH / etc? (Score 1) 225

by Keybounce (#48926825) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

So far, HTML5 playback only gives me 360p quality, with no DASH support.

Flash playback gives me 480p, DASH support (so I stop using the network if I hit pause, and don't bloat my browser memory usage on long videos).

HTML playback does give me speed control.
But I can already download a 360p and watch in mplayer/vlc for better speed control if I wanted that.

Comment: Lucas's skill: Pacing, not writing (Score 1) 422

by Keybounce (#48894933) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Lucas was very good with Pacing. He knew timing. Not scripts/dialog.

How many people walked away from seeing the first star wars moving, overjoyed that the rebels had won? Probably lots. How long did it take before you realized that all they had "won" was a very temporary respite -- their location known to a large enemy fleet that had lost one superweapon, but still had lots of ships for bombardment?

Was the story of the prequels that great? Maybe, maybe not.
What was the pacing of the first 2 like? Pretty darn good.

(The story of 3 was so bad I could not finish watching it, pacing or not.)

===

If you want an old-school comparison, look at Walt Disney. He knew timing. He would alter the timings of the drawings made by his animators. But he knew better than to try to be the one doing the drawings.

Comment: Re:Well That About Wraps It Up For God (Score 1) 755

by Keybounce (#48712359) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

That the Hebrews/Jews are still around despite everyone's attempt to eliminate them is proof of God's existence.

The real question: What is God's goal? What is God's purpose?

Most religions want to assume "God is good". The real truth is, we don't know, and cannot know.

What is God's ability? What can / cannot God do?

Most religions want to assume "Anything". The real truth is, we don't know, and cannot know.

The real truth is that all knowing, all powerful, and all good, are as mutually conflicting as "Laws of physics are constant", "The speed of light is constant", and "Speed is additive / Time is linear".

We've seen how "Relativity" has changed our view of physics.
What happens when "Supernatural Relativity" changes our view of the meta-physics?

(Now, ask yourself what M-theory, multiple branes in the bulk, and the very concept of some intelligent being that lives in the bulk would imply ... "God", and "Meta-physics", will be "physical reality" studies at some point in the distant future).

Comment: Re:Advance to Go (Score 1) 155

by Keybounce (#48712161) Attached to: Designing the Best Board Game

Monopoly is a *trading* game. Not a "which monopoly did I land on to complete" game.

There is no "single best price" for a property -- it depends on the amount of money in the game. The two player game has much less money in it than a 5 player game.

For 5 players, your chance of getting a natural monopoly is almost zero.
In a 4 player game, the likelyhood of one pair of people trading for monopolies, followed by the other pair trading, so now everyone has a monopoly, seems to be the most common result.

But that doesn't work in a 5 player game. Suddenly, one person is out. This means that being early to trade is important -- and 5 player games are all about trading, and evaluating which properties have what true value in the current environment.

I remember one 5 player game where I made a trade with an opponent, that resulted in the two of us having 3 monopolies (if I recall, he got the oranges, and I got both $50's), and we plopped down houses -- enough to prevent anyone else from ever getting a hotel, or even much of any more development done. This was the first big trade -- and we turned it from, effectively, a 5 player game to a 2 player game, as no one else could do anything more than give us "GO" money.

Good game design? That's the point of the game -- it's the landlord game, updated to show how control of property in a group is more powerful. We controlled the houses to the point that anyone else would just be a serf.

5 player monopoly is probably the best because it forces trading to play, and it forces an emphasis on being able to control the money/housing supply. (It does no good to have the best properties if you cannot build anything -- so having properties and no money to build is no better than having properties and no houses in the bank).

Comment: Re:more simplifications and fewer cats, please (Score 1) 197

by Keybounce (#48642611) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

The question becomes: before you open the box, is the cat alive or dead? Or is it somehow...both?

Your gut instinct is to say, "That's stupid. Of course it's either alive or dead. How the fuck could it be both?"

But the thing is, there are certain, non-cat-related experiments that we've done that REQUIRE the answer to be BOTH. Perhaps the simplest (and certainly the one we physicists learn about first) is the double-slit experiment. The basic idea is, you shoot a beam of something (light, gold atoms, DNA, doesn't really matter) at a slit, and it forms a pattern on a wall. It'll form this pattern even if you shoot your particles one at a time. Then, you close that slit and open another one, and fire your beam again. It forms a different pattern.

The problem is, the double-slit experiment doesn't tell you a thing about the cat.

Any single run of the cat experiment will have the cat either alive, or dead, before you open the box. 50% will be one, and 50% will be another.

Firing electrons at slits -- 1 or 2 -- does not change the fact that the electrons do have a location. We may not be able to measure it -- measuring requires an interaction, and the interaction will change what happens. There's a number that represents that ultimate limit -- plank's constant.

Toss electrons, one at a time, through a slit, see one pattern. Fine.
Toss electrons, one at a time, through another slit, see a different pattern. Fine.

In each case, you have electrons with a location. Different electrons have different locations. You don't get spots, you get slits. But slits made of one spot, then another spot, then another spot, etc. Each electron hits the screen at one point. Each electron has one location. Each cat is either alive or dead.

Toss electrons through a pair of slits, with detectors measuring the electrons: See a pair of slits (no interference) on the screen.
Remove the detectors: see the interference.

But in each case, you see spot, spot, spot. The final outcome location is different. The electron's path may not be linear, it may be doing quantum tunneling from point A to B as it "moves". In the process, it may move near the second slit, before coming back. Hence, the ability to "Detect the non local slit" and change the path.

But it has a single spot when you measure it.
The cat has a single state.

We may have no tools to describe it other than "We don't know, but a 40% chance of here, a 10% chance of here, a 10% chance of there, etc.". We may have no tools to describe it other than "We don't know, but a 50% chance of being alive".

It is not both.
It is "we don't know".
It is "we can not possibly know -- the universe does not let us know without changing the outcome".

But "Cannot know" is not the same as "Does not exist".

====

What is the "width" of an electron?

Since the location of an electron has uncertainty, there is a concept of "width" -- the area in which an electron might be found if you measured it.

If you have a single slit, then you are filtering out the "wide" electrons, that are too far off.
If you have a double slit?

If the two slits are close enough, that the "width" of the electrons includes both slits, what does the result look like? If the slits are far enough apart, that the width does not include both, what does the result look like?

My understanding is that if the two slits are far enough apart, you do NOT get any interference patterns.

The basic idea is, you shoot a beam of something (light, gold atoms, DNA, doesn't really matter) at a slit, and it forms a pattern on a wall.

But tossing bigger things at the slits means that the slits have to be closer to see the interference, and the slits have to be bigger to let the things through. Eventually, the "closeness" of the slits and the "wideness" of the slits means that you have one slit, not two.

Toss an electron at a single slit, it behaves one way.
Toss it at two slits, far enough apart that they are not within its "width", it behaves the same way.
Toss it at two slits within its width, and it "Sees" both, and behaves differently.

None of this is odd. How that behavior changes when the second slit is there is odd.
None of this has anything to do with the cat.

Each cat is alive or dead.
We can't tell ahead of time, only by opening and measuring.

Each electron goes to a location.
We can't tell ahead of time, only by putting a screen there and measure.

+ - Ask slashdot: What's the best wireless headset for around $50-$75

Submitted by Keybounce
Keybounce writes: What are good wireless headsets for around $50-$75?

This may seem strange, but the truth is, trying to find good descriptions of headphones is hard enough, let alone actual product reviews. The one that I found, that looked promising, turned out to only be stereo over a wire, and was mono over bluetooth.

Requirements:
1. Stereo audio playback.
2. Microphone (can be mono)
3. Wireless.

Desired: Sits on top of ear (so I can still hear the world around me)
Slightly negative: Envelopes ear.
Absolutely not: inserts inside ear.

Comment: TFA: Bad websites, bad "Resolution". (Score 1) 567

by Keybounce (#48584085) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Agreed.

The examples given in the article (yes I read it) show badly designed web sites that assume you have a certain fixed width display.

I use Stylish, so I can override bad CSS on the remote side. Bad, as in "Should be sued if they are a commercial business for violating user accessibility for people with poor eyesight". Bad, as in "If I make the text displayed by my browser big enough to read, then the website breaks and has text on top of text". Bad, as in "Since we can't tell what size width someone has, we assume everyone has 800 / 1150 / NNN pixels and count by pixels since everyone has the exact same eyesight, monitor quality, and everything else that our programmers have".

(I am not a lawyer. But there is a law in the united states of america about taking reasonable measures to ensure access to handicapped people, and bad eyesight that requires glasses and/or larger text is recognized as handicapped. Working with a system -- a computer -- that can trivially handle larger text and display it is reasonable measures. Taking that system, and forcing it to only work properly with small text should be actionable. Doing this as a business, and then claiming "We have rights, you cannot sue us" is just plain wrong.)

I have gotten used to having to patch bad CSS, and then update/maintain those patches. I have a large collection of forum / message board CSS overrides, and most forum sites for me now are "figure out which of my existing templates this is using, and set that template to include this site".

I have my browsing using the full width of my browser window, whether my browser window is the full width of my screen or not.

And, resolution is the other issue that this FA gets wrong. I would love -- *LOVE* -- to have a higher resolution monitor give me -- wait for it -- Ta DAH! -- *Better Resolution!*.

Instead, almost universally, "higher monitor resolution" == "smaller dots, and more of them".

Do you have any idea how hard it is to work at 72 points per inch on the screen? There are only two ways that I know of, and both break a lot of software:
1. Set my monitor resolution to 72 DPI. Never mind that my monitor can do 92, or 120 DPI, and that would give me a higher quality display of that 72 points per inch. Oh yea -- I forgot that some systems (hello microsoft windows brand graphical operating system) think that 92 DPI on screen is the normal and actually think that 120 DPI is bigger text.

2. Get a retina display, at 2 to 1 display. Most "aware" programs will see 144 DPI, and display something that is the right size; most "un-aware" programs will see 72 DPI and still work but with transparently sharper text. Screen recorders seem to be the only thing that get the display wrong.

Now, what about someone that -- surprise, surprise -- needs larger text? I actually want a 25% magnification to read stuff on-screen. I can read print at 12 points (*) just fine -- but that probably has to do with print being around 400-1200 DPI. I can't read 12 point at 72 DPI on-screen well at all.

(*): And, it does not help that "points" is not "points" at low point levels. I can change my font size, and below about 25 point fonts the change is not consistent. In some fonts, 12 and 13 are identical except for being "darker"; in others, it's 13 and 14. The same "point size" is significantly different character size in different fonts. Etc.

Even the question of "How do you handle better resolution" for text isn't easy. If I am displaying a 12 point font at 92 DPI screen resolution, do I take the outline produced by 12 points, and scale it to fit the higher resolution display, or do I take the outline from the higher point-sized characters, and display that unaltered? Since I get different glyphs (patterns of dots) in both cases, what's the best way?

====

TL; DR:
1. TFA basically says "Badly designed websites cannot use wide monitors, so don't fix the websites, wreck your display setup."
2. TFA basically says "Monitors only come in low resolution now". Fix operating systems so that better resolutions give *better resolutions*.
3. Require OS's to distinguish between resolution and display size / scaling.

4. Well-designed websites will work with user-specified font sizes and browser widths. Laws of some countries actually require this. None (as far as I know) enforce it.
5. Well-designed programs will have "display scale" or "zoom" features to make things look bigger on the inside of the window. Really well-designed programs can set this on a per-window basis.

Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 305

by Keybounce (#48183303) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

Full-screen was just implemented badly in OS X, to the point that I much prefer "maximize" to full-screen. In fact, I hate full screen.

1. I don't do single-tasking on my computer. Even if I want to have the full screen for a document I'm working on, I am using other apps, or other documents, or other terminal windows, etc., at the same time.

I can switch between maximized windows easily enough. Even if they are in different apps.
I cannot switch between two different full-screen windows easily, whether they are in the same app or not.

2. I use two monitors. Full-screen should mean "This window is the full size of this monitor", or "This window is the full size of my display, both monitors". There are times that I want A, and times that I want B. Let me select it.

*NOT*: "This window is the full size of this monitor, and the second monitor is unusable.

Now, I know what you are going to say: Starting in 10.9, it's possible to have the two monitors separate, giving me two different full-screen windows at the same time.

But that's no-good either. The point of two monitors is to show big things in two places. I can work at 72 DPI (sorry, these are *NOT* 25 year old eyes, they are 50 year old eyes), and still have enough screen space for a window. My main window is 1024x640, and I alternate the second monitor to either 960x640 or 1024x600, depending on whether I need to extend down, or to the right (or, in the case of iMovie, to the left -- keeping the movie on the main monitor at normal size, something that is not possible without this "split over monitor" behavior with iMovie).

3. A full-screen window is not a desktop. It's a window on a desktop, it's just the size of the desktop.

Apple does not understand the concept of "This desktop is for project X".
Apple wants to say "This desktop is for application Y".

Even if a window is full-screen in size, it's still part of project X, and that project involves other apps.

This can be made to work well-enough with maximized windows -- and hidden dock, plus maximized window, is almost as much screen space, and much easier to work with, than full-screen.

Comment: What happens to the bitcoins? (Score 1) 40

by Keybounce (#47800855) Attached to: Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies At 58

We are now seeing the start of the death of bitcoin.

As people die, their coins -- protected by passwords not available to anyone else -- will be taken out of circulation.

So what happens to the bitcoins of the dead? What is the future of a currency that has to suffer hard decline in total units as generations go by?

What is the future of a currency where only corporations can live long enough to use it -- and they cannot prevent theft (if the corporation has a way to spend it, then at least one person must have the same way to spend it.)

Comment: DOS: XCom. Amiga: Titans of Steel, Killing Game Sh (Score 1) 382

by Keybounce (#47796677) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

For any platform?

XCom, the original. Can be made better with XComUtil (a tool to work around some of the shortcomings of the game's UI. Yes, this is an old-school, low-res DOS game.

If you like magic: the gathering, then the original M:tG game (based on 5th edition cards) is great on old, slower computers, but runs too fast to be playable on modern computers. (Microsoft Windows, worked on 3.1 and 95, if I recall)

On the Amiga: Titans of Steel was a Mech Warrior game with actual time-based physics and time-based heat (instead of turn-based heat). No more "I have generated 15 units of heat, and sink 10, so I'm only heat 5, and take no penalty". Now it takes time to sink that heat -- and all the old FASA mech designs turn out to be horrible when you have real heat issues to worry about.

Finally, Killing Game Show (Amiga) -- you need the original disk, the crack did not work properly -- is a platformer with a "timer/clock" to keep you going. But it has one wonderful feature -- when you die, it replays the level you died on. So you can see where you made your mistake. And, *** You can take over during the replay***. So you can take over *before* you make your mistake and avoid having to do all the drudge work over and over again.

Comment: Third party pass through (Score 1) 91

by Keybounce (#47716575) Attached to: Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human

And how will even the best, most fool-proof Capcha protect you from a spam bot system that passes that game, or other capcha, to some people farm in a foreign country? Or just to visitors to some other website that gets high enough traffic for the spammers to post sufficient volume of spam?

This, by itself, cannot solve the issue.

The issue is not "Prove that there is a human there".

The issue is "Prove that you, right there, right now, are a human, and not being passed to someone else, elsewhere".

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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