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Comment: Re:USB Import (Score 1) 294

by Mr. Slippery (#47565467) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Who the hell buys/uses CD's anymore?

(raises hand)

My CD from the 80s (yes, I still have a few) and 90s and 00s didn't disappear. I buy CDs from bands at shows. (And usually rip them, eventually.) And doing business with the forms of Pure Concentrated Evil known to mankind as Apple and Amazon is not an option, so digital download options are limited.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 1) 569

by Mr. Slippery (#47557501) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Please point to the fascists riddling the current Ukrainian government.

Members of Svoboda, the neo-Nazi inspired party formerly known as the "Social-National Party of Ukraine", hold several government posts: Oleksandr Sych, Vice Prime Minister; Andriy Mokhnyk- Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources; Ihor Shvayka, Minister of Agriculture.

Svoboda is so far right that just three years ago there was a move to have the party banned nationwide:

Comment: Re:NO, all candy bar (Score 2) 539

Keyboard phones sound good on paper but when people actually tried them the reality hit home.

Yes, and the reality is that if you are someone who works with text -- a programmer, a sysadmin, a writer -- a keyboard phone completely fscking rocks, putting a remote terminal/text editor device in your pocket. I can sit at the bar and work on an essay, or ssh in to the server at work for a quick bug fix or server restart. (Yes, it's nice to have a tablet or laptop or desktop but those don't fit into my pocket.) "Swipe" keyboards are useless. You can have my Epic 4G when you pry it from my cold dead hands...or replace it with another phone with a hardware keyboard. There is no substitute.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 2, Insightful) 569

by Mr. Slippery (#47547127) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Russia is definitely, without a doubt or a question, the villain here.

Your statement assumes there is only one villain.

Russia is a villain. The U.S. is a villain. The current fascist-riddled Ukraine government is a villain. The prior authoritarian Ukraine government is a villain. And in the end, the ethnic Russians of Eastern Ukraine are fucked.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 1) 394

It depends upon how the VPN is set up but if it's using L2TP/IPSec then every non header part of every packet will be encrypted. There will be no pattern to analyze because the encrypted packets will appear to be random data. The only things the ISP could do then would be to block the network hosting the VPN server, which is difficult because most VPN providers have lots of servers with some of them probably hosted in popular networks, or throttle all connections that cannot be decoded by the traffic shaper which would cripple SSL too. Throttling all encrypted connections is an obvious non-starter since it would ruin online e-commerce and just imagine trying to shut off all traffic to Amazon Web Services just because some VPN providers host servers with a cloud provider. That wouldn't work well either. No, the ISPs much prefer to ignore VPNs for now, since relatively few of their subscribers use them, rather than engaging in a high profile arms race with sophisticated users which would only serve to popularize the concept of VPNs and make them easier for the unwashed masses to use.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 292

in many European countries vacation is by law on top of your salary, so you're still getting your normal paycheck when you're on vacation.

That's a financially unsophisticated view. In such cases the salary always includes the vacation in so far as it's lower than it otherwise would be were the vacation not required by law to be part of the total compensation. A cost to a company is still a cost. It doesn't matter that half the cost is due to salary and half the cost is due to the otherwise salaried employee being unavailable to work because he's on vacation. It's the total cost that matters and the vacation must be a non-zero part of that. I'd rather be free to negotiate my own preferred kind and amount of compensation, whether it be through vacation time or more money (I prefer money), than have the government force me to spend a mandatory minimum share of my compensation on vacation, whether I would chose to "purchase" that much vacation on my own or not.

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 353

by Mr. Slippery (#47512871) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

To be a real dick about it: Nobody moved your cheese, the cheese is simply no longer there.

Cheese, to extend the metaphor, does not simply disappear. If it's no longer there, someone moved it.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of free cheese in the form of torrents. The more the copyright cartel tightens its grip, the more content will slip through its fingers.

Comment: Re:Of course (Score 1) 82

by CodeBuster (#47497747) Attached to: High School Students Not Waiting For Schools To Go Online

Why wouldn't colleges seek to accommodate people who just want half-assed job training? It means they get more money.

Elite colleges are similar to luxury brands in the sense that part of their perceived value is derived from their selectivity and exclusivity. If everyone can get a Harvard or Yale certificate online then the perceived value of a degree from those institutions is reduced. Selectivity and exclusivity allow prices to remain higher, offsetting the gains to be had from more graduates at lower prices per certificate or degree awarded.

Comment: Re:An absurd "crisis"! LOL (Score 1) 128

by CodeBuster (#47497421) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Have you ever taken a course in AI? The minimax algorithm is already guaranteed to produce the optimal outcome in a zero sum, non deterministic, perfect information game such as Chess provided that the weights of the branches in the tree are an accurate representation of the value of a given position. This means that the only part of the algorithm that requires any real creativity is the position evaluation function of which there are several good examples in the published literature. The depth of the search in the game tree, which is equivalent to look ahead, is a good approximation for the strength of the play. It turns out that a 4 move look ahead is good enough for a relatively strong program, regularly beating most chess novices and a lookahead of 8 moves and more, especially when combined with a good position evaluation function and databases common openings and all possible 5 piece endgames, produces grand master level play. So playing Chess is essentially an exercise in search of a game tree. There are some small improvements to be won at the margins at grand master level play with more sophisticated position evaluation functions, as demonstrated by the IBM Deep Blue team in the games against Kasperov, but 99% of human players never approach grand master level of play in Chess and would lose most games played against Fritz on the hard settings.

Comment: Re:D&D influenced me and my game design HEAVIL (Score 1) 127

by CodeBuster (#47497253) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

This variant of the rules is discussed in Unearthed Arcana (pages 111-112) as an option with extensive tables detailing the necessary modifications the base rules and a sidebar noting the effects. Basically, with armor as damage reduction attacks hit more often and do less damage. At lower levels this tends to make combat less dangerous, especially for armored characters. However, at higher levels the advantage shifts back in favor of monsters that deal large amounts of damage per hit. For example, when facing a huge earth elemental in full plate armor a fighter will be hit about 20% more often, due to a 4 point reduction in AC, to compensate for the fact that the base AC bonus values from armor assume the base rules, not the modified armor as damage reduction rules. However, the 4 points of damage reduction now only reduces his opponents average damage by less than 17 percent: advantage, elemental. It gets still worse when encountering monsters with yet higher strength bonuses to damage or added on damage from poisons, acid, disease etc or multiple attacks per round. Basically combat is easier at lower levels but increasingly deadly as characters advance much past about level 12 or so. It also tends to make the game more mundane and less heroic since characters enjoy early success at the expense of heroic high level fights which they are now less likely to survive. On the other hand, this variant also reduces somewhat the advantage that magic users have over fighting characters at high levels since they too are exposed to the more deadly combat and still without benefit of armor. This can make playing a fighting class more attractive in a high level campaign that might otherwise be dominated by spell casters.

Comment: Re:String theory is not science (Score 2, Informative) 147

by Mr. Slippery (#47494263) Attached to: Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Uh, yeah, we can measure -1. The charge of an electron. The distance along the x-axis that I travel when I walk one meter west. The effect on a wave when it encounters an identical one 180 degrees out of phase.

Not at all. None of those things "are" -1. They are observable phenomena that we tag with the human invention, the word/concept, "-1". Mathematics is not an aspect of objective observable reality, it is a language that we have found useful for describing our observations.

Comment: Re:Ads are good for the internet. (Score 2, Informative) 394

by Mr. Slippery (#47491017) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Imagine you had to pay every time you wanted to watch a YouTube video? Like when you goto a movie, or order cable TV, I'll gladly wait 10sec & click skip...

If it takes 10 seconds of your time, then you're paying with your time.

If you're a professional making $50/hour, then 10 seconds of your time is worth $0.14. If you're a laborer making $10, then 10 seconds of your time is worth $0.03. That's just the time wasted, mind, not counting the fact that watching ads is essentially subjecting yourself to black magic, attempted mind control, and trying to put a value on your neurological integrity..

IMO, if ads stopped across all internet sites, or the online advertising industry completely collapsed. The internet as we know it, would be gone.

And since the Internet as we know it has become, thanks to scum-sucking advertizers, a hive of scum and villainy, little would be lost, and we could go about cleaning out the cruft and building something better. Fuck the online advertising industry with a rusty dildo.

Comment: Re:An absurd "crisis"! LOL (Score 2) 128

by CodeBuster (#47447047) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Similar process here, use it or lose it.

I haven't played a serious game of chess since I took up programming decades ago. Why spend time learning to play chess when I can write a program that will beat most humans? Even a novice programmer could create a very strong chess AI using information that's publicly available. Chess was an early area of interest in AI and game theory but it's largely a solved problem now, used as an example of minimax search in undergraduate textbooks on the subject.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.