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Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 5, Informative) 72

by Kjella (#47563761) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Gandalf knows that Sauron is back. This directly contradicts LotR. In fact, there's no reason Gandalf would let Bilbo keep the ring once he knew Sauron existed.

Actually this is exactly like in the books.

The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 261

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.

As for the ring, Gandalf did not know it was the One Ring.

Then for the last time the Council met; for now we learned that he was seeking ever more eagerly for the One. We feared then that he had some news of it that we knew nothing of. But Saruman said nay, and repeated what he had said to us before: that the One would never again be found in Middle-earth. (...) [Gandalf] sighed. `There I was at fault,' he said. `I was lulled by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth sooner, and our peril would now be less.'

He finally found an ancient scroll to test if it is the One Ring, because on the surface it looks like any other minor magical ring.

And then in my despair I thought again of a test that might make the finding of Gollum unneeded. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. The memory of words at the Council came back to me: words of Saruman, half-heeded at the time. I heard them now clearly in my heart.
` "The Nine, the Seven, and the Three," he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read."

This is where it all starts in Fellowship of the Ring.

Comment: Re:It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 1) 29

by Kjella (#47563569) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

They had their own goals and all that, but my first goal, if I was sending something millions of miles away (I don't know how far it traveled when it went to Mars, but the closest approach between earth and mars has been 34.8 million miles), I'd certainly want the ability to move it more than XXX feet per day.

And a free pony, but the problem is the power budget. Going faster -> more power required -> bigger solar panels -> more weight -> going slower. If you got a solution for that, I'm sure NASA would like to have a talk with you. Also consider that it might be very hard to travel a significant distance, it's easier to drop two rovers on opposite sides of the planet than design a rover that can drive 5000+ km.

Mars has areas with really sharp rocks and Curiosity has already taken more wheel damage than expected. Soft soil is almost just as bad, potentially trapping the rover as it happened with Opportunity. And there's no tow truck coming, so if you screw it up the mission is over. Personally I imagine it's the scientific equipment that mostly limits the rover, if we haven't got the tools or sensors getting there faster won't do us any good.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 72

by Kjella (#47563397) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

LotR is a story worth telling, it's a grand epic. The Hobbit is... well, a children's tale about a dragon's treasure. In LotR it's obvious why Frodo must be the reluctant ringbearer, while in the Hobbit you have Bilbo making this insane leap to join a crazy bunch of dwarfs and a wizard to go steal treasure from a dragon. Totally credible. And being caught by big dumb trolls who want to eat them is totally cliche. All the characters are either good guys or bad guys, there's no conflicted characters like Gollum. There's no sacrifice like Boromir. And not a single female character to bring up the wife acceptance factor, it's all about the bling. Trying to use the Hobbit as follow-up to LotR is total folly, I know because I read them in that order and it's weaker in every respect for everyone above the age of ten.

Yes, they're totally molesting the story of the Hobbit but mainly by ret-conning in as many things related to LotR as possible to cover over its own pathetic plot. Like the whole story with Dol Guldur, in the book Gandalf is simply away but in other bits and pieces Tolkien does describe that and as a LotR prequel it's just as important as the main story line. I mean Bilbo already has the ring, at the end of the story he has the ring - the rest of the tale doesn't really affect the LotR story line in any significant way. The book had to stand on its own legs. The end of the Hobbit will just be a waypoint to the first LotR movie. I mean this book ends with a hobbit returning home to the Shire with two small chests of gold, a mithril chain mail and a ring, it's not exactly a grand finish like destroying the One Ring and it never will be.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 295

by Kjella (#47562337) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Credit scores are okay but involving credit history is a strange fetish of US banks, never understood why. I remember reading a story about a European that found a US girl and they were looking to buy a place for both of them in the US. He was like I got this much equity, this much income, we should be able to manage a mortgage of this size. The bank said: No credit history (that we can find anyway) whatsoever? No loan. So they went out and got him a credit card, maxed it and paid it off on time. Big credit, perfect payment history and though short he now was eligible for a loan. WTF.

To me, having a credit card history - not home and car loans - means you've not had the money to pay your bills. If you didn't have to take up credit, you've always had the money to pay your bills. Why on earth wouldn't I then be able to pay my bills now? Before I rented an apartment and paid rent. Now I own an apartment and pay on my mortgage. They look stunningly similar in that each month I need to pay up to keep on living where I live. You balance your income and expenses, if you do it with $1000 left on the bank account or $1000 in credit card debt at the end of the month is exactly the same.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 222

by Kjella (#47556405) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

There is no right to a game designed the way you would want to design it. Your right is to vote with your wallets.

Until we decide that there is because we vote with our votes. For example the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act regulates how you can provide consumer warranties. If we wanted to ban certain DRM behaviors or even ban it entirely, we could do that. There's a difference between free market capitalism (equal opportunity for companies to provide competing products) and laissez-faire capitalism (companies can do anything and consumers will weed out bad behavior).

Comment: Re:What is the business case of SpaceX? (Score 1) 112

by Kjella (#47546545) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

They don't do space tourism yet, but once they got the Dragon man-rated I don't see why not. The seven people who've been space tourists so far have in total paid $170 million, while SpaceX has quoted $140 million for a crewed Falcon 9 launch so they're at a price at least some is willing to pay. If they can make the rockets reusable it could significantly increase their launch volume even if only a few hundred super rich want to go. It would be real space flight in LEO and make you a genuine astronaut, not just "pop your head in" suborbital flight. Maybe they could even use the cargo room of the Dragon to hold some kind of deployable/inflatable mini-hotel for the stay. 100 mile high club anyone? ;)

Comment: Re:When I was born... (Score 1) 112

by Kjella (#47546275) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

When I was born Mankind had not set foot on the moon. By the time I was five, we had been there, done that and decided to never go back again. If aliens do exist, they are sitting back saying "What the f?ck man, you want to meet us but don't have the energy to get off the couch and answer the door?" Mankind does not deserve space travel. We had our chance and refused to take it.

By the time you were five, we had been (384 400 kilometers) / (4.2421 light years) = 9.57827017 x 10^-9 = ~0.000001% of the way to the closest star. Eight years later they launched the Voyager 1 which is now about (127.98 Astronomical Units) / (4.2421 light years) = ~0.05% of the way. And it's probably uninhabited. What chance did we miss to go visit aliens? Do you think if we just put enough money in it we'd invent the warp drive? Chemical rockets can't do it, it'd be like trying to ride a horse to the moon. The ban on nukes in space kills fission, we still haven't got a working fusion reactor here on earth and antimatter only exists in extreme lab experiments.

True, we don't care much about developing the propulsion technology but we sure as hell would like the energy generation technology so to pretend we're not working on it is false. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try building the applied technology before we got the basics working, if we can make a fusion reactor here on earth then maybe we can turn it into a fusion drive. Trying to skip that step earns us nothing, it doesn't bypass any of the problems we already have and creates a whole set of new ones which makes it that much less likely to succeed. The only tech that's pretty much ready to go is fission, but good luck selling a rocket that'll nuke its way through space.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 5, Insightful) 561

by Kjella (#47545799) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons. And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

Well, if you want to put it that way the plane would never have been shot down if Russia had supplied a professional crew instead of teaching the separatists how to aim and pull the trigger. At least with the Russian military firing they probably know what they're aiming at.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 704

by Kjella (#47545407) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Except in this case there's no signs that anyone was being particularly reckless, lazy or disregarding the rules, it was a fairly complex interaction between debug settings, ASM optimizations and dependency management. This is more like when the Space Shuttle blew up and nobody cares about the 9999 parts that didn't fail because the O-ring did and as a result it's now small chunks of scrap metal with dead astronauts. You don't get points for effort, style or the parts that work it's the end result that counts and in this case GCC poops on the floor because the final output is shit.

I think it's a good attitude for a kernel manager, because when he gets shit code from driver or subsystem maintainers that goes into a release kernel and starts corrupting data and throwing panics the shit is going to land on him. You can't just shuffle that responsibility downwards and say no, the kernel is 99% fine but that driver is crap because as far as the end users are concerned the kernel is crap and the internal bickering about whose fault that is doesn't matter one bit to them. It's your project and your job to get it fixed. And that might require some harsh words about the O-ring and the people who made it, because it's making them all look bad which is totally unfair to everybody else.

Comment: Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (Score 1) 95

by Kjella (#47543753) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, if your AdWord campaigns are being sabotaged it's extremely hard to say what your conversion rate should have been without the sabotage unless you've got really good historic data to show we used to get good leads but now we get crap. For example if my botnet all likes to visit Google and click your ad links, but never buy anything. Yes, you know the conversation rate is very low - as a few real customers are in the mix - but it doesn't tell you anything about who or why, it just looks like random IPs visiting and not buying. Nor do you have any obvious reason to sue, it''s not illegal to visit and leave without buying. To use a real world analogy, it's like you have an organized band to clog up your stores, circulating and acting like customers but ending up just browsing. I've done that in real life, exiting the store without never buying so individually it's not unheard of. But if hundreds or thousands did that in an organized fashion, there'd be trouble as legitimate customers would pass on your store because it's too crowded, even though they have no intention of buying..

Comment: Re:Nudity (Score 4, Informative) 175

by Kjella (#47543587) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

If there's a distinct non-human advantage to them, yes. Most sports are extremely tightly regulated, mainly I've looked at the Nordic sports and for example the jump suit used in ski jumping is highly regulated. Likewise in ice skating, they proved some years ago a "Donald Duck" like suit would improve skate times. It was banned. The support biathlon athletes can get while shooting is likewise regulated. The rules themselves are arbitrary, as long as they're equal for everyone. Why it is "three strikes, you're out" in baseball? Couldn't it be one strike? Five strikes? Sure it could, but the game says three. And then you compete under the rules of the game. Everything else is the other way around, they're allowed to wear baseball caps because everyone can wear one and it doesn't favor anyone in particular. You can't call ut unaided because bicyclists obviously outpace runners, pole vaulters outjump high jumpers and so on but the aid is considered neutral. Anything that isn't you ban.

Comment: Re:As soon as greenpeace touches it (Score 1) 285

by Kjella (#47539935) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

John Stewart Mill made the point that you should consider every argument, even if only one person in the entire world is making it against the consensus of everyone else, on its merits. The person speaking does not matter, only the merits of the argument.

Knowing that someone has a very warped perception of reality - at least from your point of view - pretty much destroys all their credibility to make arguments about the real world. If the argument had any merit then "normal people" would use it too, it's not worth the effort to track every argument back to the underlying root causes. Very often it boils down to "that's not the way real people act or the real world works" because so many get caught up in an ideology and forget to ground their beliefs in reality. They're immune to normal feedback mechanisms, it's like watching people cut themselves and if it hurts the solution is to cut more. I suppose if you cut yourself enough the pain may stop permanently, but it still seems a rather bad idea.

Comment: Re:Attention Editors (Score 1) 48

The reason to use [sic] is to indicate that you didn't introduce a typo, it made sense for scribes, typewriters and citing dead tree sources but when you're copy-pasting another electronic source perfect reproduction is the norm and pointing out spelling mistakes is typically mocking, like you're making a point that the one you're quoting can't even spell properly. So I wouldn't use it and if people complain, well then they don't understand the concept of quoting. You don't change someone else's words and it's obvious from context who made the typo so the [sic] is completely redundant.

Comment: Re:And... (Score 1) 284

Thats cute, you think Outlook is an email client. (...) Hint: Email is about 1/10th of what Outlook is and does.

He did say small company. which makes it fairly plausible. Many pay a lot for Outlook/Office and use it only for email, meeting scheduling and simple documents/spreadsheets because it's the de facto corporate standard.

Comment: Re:The price you pay (Score 1) 368

by Kjella (#47520267) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

The agile way, quick and dirty. Find the code for whatever task you're supposed to do and change it. You do not try to place it on some grand master blueprint like in waterfall. Nor do you, according to agile, need that blueprint to add a new feature. If your code change breaks anything then tests will fail. Now you've got regressions, that's a task if you need one. Don't build any extra abstractions. Don't make your code overly generic. Go back and add those only as they become clearly needed and necessary. The general sentiment is that we don't know what tomorrow will bring, so fix it for today and if we need to redo it later we'll do just that.

You ask for the big picture, agile's answer is that there is none. The whole code base is alive and trying to keep on top of everything else that's happening is too much wasted time. You just keep the bits and pieces you work on working as you make changes. If the architecture becomes a problem then we'll make that a refactoring task to solve that particular issue, but it's never a full review. If agile was to create driving directions they'd go something like "Take the road going closest to the direction you want to go. If it becomes rough, carry on as it's probably better to get through that go back. If you really hit a dead end, make the smallest possible backtrack that lets you get around it."

Your program is sick! Shoot it and put it out of its memory.

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