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Comment: Re:I can't believe we're afraid of these assholes (Score 1) 306

by Nemyst (#47798223) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"
I know you mean the US, but the difference is that the US has left the 8th century. A small minority seems adamant in getting them back to the dark ages, but there's a wide chasm between that and the poor souls of the Middle East. To conflate the two and pretend otherwise hinders both issues.

Comment: Re:Dangerous virus (Score 4, Interesting) 79

by Nemyst (#47790851) Attached to: Scientists Found the Origin of the Ebola Outbreak
Ebola is actually not that contagious. Its usually high mortality rate makes it slow to propagate, since it tends to kill the host before they can spread it much. You also need extended contact with infected people to be susceptible to transmission (hence why the researchers were amongst the most likely to get it, protection or not, and the lack of treatment or prevention mechanism meant that there was little to do for them once they had it).

An Ebola outbreak in Europe or North America would do little damage as it would be contained swiftly. Unless ZMapp is mass produced before then, the infected would probably be quarantined and left there, but either way you could control it and even in a major population center the damage would be relatively low. An influenza epidemic like the Spanish flu would be far more devastating, despite the fact flu is a much more common (and less "scary") disease.

Comment: Re:Holy crap .. let it go man ... (Score 1) 603

by Nemyst (#47789533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
DVD drive, sure, but no ethernet port? WTF is wrong with you? Wifi isn't so great as to be able to replace wired connections. For games, it's a disaster. For more civilized parts of the world, your internet access can be faster than N routers can sustain (and let's be frank few people have ac routers). Plus, there's the whole security aspect and how much easier it is to manage the router without having to deal with wireless codes and settings. I'll ditch a lot of stuff, but a good old ethernet wire isn't one of them.

Comment: Re:CDs (Score 1) 603

by Nemyst (#47789519) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
My dad used to say the same of CDs, but then I set him up so that his computer would run foobar2000 with a remote control on his smartphone... Suddenly, he could browse through his entire collection (well, what's ripped anyway) with the flick of a finger, queue a bunch of tracks from any CD he wanted, pause, resume, change the EQ and much more without moving from his seat. I fully understand the appeal of a certain amount of physicality, but you can do so much more with computers and a well designed system.

Comment: Re:Risk Management (Score 4, Insightful) 88

That's easy to say when the sample of drugs you have is those that have passed approval. If the requirements are relaxed, it's very hard to say what would happen without having access to information only the FDA has.

Perhaps nothing would happen. That'd be great, but it's also a gamble. It's possible that the relaxed requirements mean a side-effect slips through unnoticed, causing as great or greater harm later in the future. It's unlikely, but it's possible, and it only takes one for everyone to panic. Probably the best example we have of what could happen is Thalidomide.

Comment: Re:Proof SimCity 5 was crap (Score 1) 101

SimCity 2013 can't scale to anywhere near such numbers because it's a more fine grained simulation. This is like saying a car is crap because it can't fit the number of people a bus can.

If you were to analyze the city you'd quickly realize that the statistical systems used in SC4 are a rather coarse approximation of reality with many downsides. They're a "top-down" approach to 2013's "bottom-up". Mind you, 2013 also had many approximations in order to reduce performance requirements so that the average player could run the game on their machine.

Comment: Re:Just proves the point (Score 1) 1211

First, I completely agree about the female representation in games being generally ridiculous (both PC and NPC). That should change.

What I however completely and utterly disagree with is that games released without female character options are a bad thing. If your game is designed for a specific character in mind, then it should be JUST that character. If that means it's a dude, then it's a dude, final answer. To arbitrarily be able to change the character's gender devalues the entire point of the character having a gender in the first place. It means that, in most cases, the game would be built such that the gender does not factor in any of the plot points or interactions with other characters, which is ridiculous and unrealistic. Being male or female affects how other people behave with you, especially if your game is set in a different time period.

What you should be arguing for instead is having more games starring actual female characters (which can't be gender switched to males). But please, for the love of all things, stop with the "I want to be able to play this game with the gender I wish!"

Comment: Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 1) 520

by Nemyst (#47765563) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report
So what's your research? What data did you take to make this conclusion? What are your hypotheses and theories regarding the current warming trend? Oh wait, you're just knee-jerking because you think we can't possibly have done it.

We can't make it rain? You've not heard of cloud seeding, have you? No, we don't have the power to control the weather locally, because that involves some truly massive amounts of energy. Thing is, on a global scale, humanity throws out truly massive amounts of energy. How much?

Everyone knows of the Mount St. Helens eruption from 1980. That eruption was fairly large (though not that large, sure): it released 24 megatons of energy in total. In 2008, humanity consumed almost 144,000 TW-hours of energy. That's 5000 St. Helens eruptions every year, or 14 eruptions per day. We consume INCREDIBLE amounts of energy, yet you believe that our exhaust fumes cannot possibly affect the climate? Volcanoes are known to be able to, though!

Note that this isn't meant to be a scientific proof or anything of the sort. You just seem to be unaware of the scale to which humanity has developed. Yes, we are most certainly able to affect the planet on a global scale, and that includes global warming. If you need another example, I'd just point at what global thermonuclear war would've done to the planet and leave it at that.

Oh, and you know what's one of the big flaws in your argument? There can be many causes for one consequence... It's well accepted that there are natural cycles of cooling and warming, but that doesn't preclude that other factors can also contribute to the global temperature, like humans. For someone so quick to throw out the tired old meme of logic "correlation does not mean causation", you sure seem fine with making major logical faults when they suit your perspective.

Comment: Re:Irreversible? (Score 1) 520

by Nemyst (#47765371) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report
That's besides the point. If we act now, we have a chance at fixing it that's fairly large and wouldn't cause that many problems. If we act much later, we have fewer chances of succeeding and even success would probably mean that people (how many? thousands? millions?) have died for nothing. Saying that we can always recover is incredibly selfish, even if it's true (and frankly it's more of a gamble than I'd like).

Comment: Re:Climate damage is never irreversible (Score 2) 520

by Nemyst (#47765343) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report
I don't think the worry with climate change was ever that we'd destroy Earth. It's just that it's in our best interests to avoid a certain species of apes from going extinct. Even that is unlikely, but I'm not sure you'd enjoy the possibility of millions or billions of people dying to an extinction-level event. Who's to say you'd be among the survivors, or your children?

Comment: Re:Reputation (Score 5, Informative) 210

by Nemyst (#47737197) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website
It sounds like Oracle's fucking business model. Overcommit, underbudget, get the job by being the "cheapest". Once the client's committed to your implementation, claim that the project brief was misleading or something and massively jack up the budget or leave the client with a stinking piece of shit.

My university's management, financial and student software was upgraded by Oracle. Something like 70 million dollars later, the web frontend is a complete farce full of atrocious design decisions, confusing options and ridiculous limitations. The employee backend is so complicated and useless that you need a fucking MANUAL to use it, and most people need assistance to do basic tasks such as budgeting their funds.

Comment: Re:A Programmer Competency Matrix (Score 4, Insightful) 548

by Nemyst (#47722811) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?
I'd argue that while it's a nice table, there's one critical flaw with it: it doesn't matter this much if you don't know everything listed, provided that you can learn it on the spot in a fairly short period of time. For instance, I remember having read about red-black trees or how to treat hashmap collisions and I've already programmed in prolog and so on, but do I remember all those things so well that I could immediately, without looking at a reference, know how to implement/work with them? Hell no. There's way too much to learn in computer science to ever hope knowing everything at once, and claiming that this should be the case (or even, that it is achievable) only serves to demoralize and misguide people.

In my mind, there are two core qualities in computer science (and really, in science in general): being adept at solving problems, and being able to learn new things all the time. The former lets you break down any specific problem in a set of more generic problems for which solutions can be found or designed. The latter means you're able to learn new solutions to problems you may be unfamiliar with.

We can predict everything, except the future.