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Comment: Re:Hmmph. (Score 1) 477

by Qantravon (#33477236) Attached to: White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit
Perhaps it would be logical, but there's a number of down-the-road issues that would make such a thing particularly unfeasible. If you start arresting the parents, you have to do something with the kids. In many of the cases, I'm sure that they'd have to go into the state foster care system. Then there's all the legal back-and-forth with the parents not wanting their kids to be taken away (for any number of reasons). Then, you'd have to prove to a jury that these parents are incompetent, bad for the child's health, etc. It would be very hard to show a typical jury that letting a kid eat what they want instead of making them eat healthy is detrimental enough to the kid's health that they should be taken away from the parents. Especially if the alternative is state foster care, which (whether true or not) many people feel is a very poor place for a child to be.

The point is, in holding the parents responsible to the point of calling it child abuse or negligence, and to have any real effect, the state's expenses would go up quite a bit. And, somehow, I don't think they'd be willing to spend the money.

Comment: Re:Photos from the same spot but not the same seas (Score 1) 895

by Qantravon (#32948040) Attached to: New Photos Show 'Devastating' Ice Loss On Everest
I was actually about to post that very link. The BBC article is kind of useless, since it doesn't really give any actual information, just, "Experts say this is bad."

Looking at the photos, there does seem to be a lot of change. However, there is also a shelf (immediately in front of the camera) of what appears to be rock in the old photo, that looks much lower in the newer one. Not quite sure what's going on there. Could be some of the glacier that had rocks on top (it says glaciers can get covered with debris), or could be that some geological activity caused the rock to shift in some way (quite possible, considering the Himalayas are on a continental plate boundary). If it is the latter, it could be that the whole glacier got shifted by geological activity. If someone wants to do the research on earthquake activity in the Himalayas over the past 80 years, it would be appreciated.

As far as AGW goes, I would normally be inclined to believe the scientists. However, considering that there have been instances of data mishandling, and people have been caught in outright lies and fabrication, I have to be somewhat suspicious. I find that I just can't trust them completely. It also doesn't help that the whole situation is being pressed by all kinds of political and corporate agendas.

The thing about this is, the public-at-large is really incapable of making an informed analysis of this data itself. Most of us are not trained in the necessary skills to do so, and it is an extremely complex field, making people who study the science as a hobby very, very rare. Therefore, in order for us to have any grasp on what's going on, we have to be informed by the scientists. We have to put our trust in them. Unfortunately, enough of them have broken that trust, as I previously mentioned, that we can't really take what is said by any of them at face value.

Comment: Re:Wait... They want them to dumb things down... (Score 1) 511

by Qantravon (#32786920) Attached to: Do Scientists Understand the Public?
That's just my point. If you have something that functions in a continuum, and you teach it to someone in a form that is explicitly instantaneous, that is a simplification. It's certainly not the worst example of simplification in education, but it is one nonetheless.

Really, what we're arguing at this point, is semantics. You seem to think that, when I say simplify, I mean approximate. There is a vast difference between those two words. a is a simplification of dv/dt for the reason that it implies either constant or instantaneous. Now, if you put it as a(t), then it is seen as a function. Which is simpler?

Now, if I were saying that a meant average acceleration, then that would be an approximation.

English. Calculus. I understand them quite well. I just make distinctions between certain fine nuances, because they do make a difference.

Comment: Re:Wait... They want them to dumb things down... (Score 1) 511

by Qantravon (#32783330) Attached to: Do Scientists Understand the Public?
This is true, but F=ma is still a simplification, since as it is, it only works for either constant "a" or, as you said, instantaneous "a". It is more accurate to use the dv/dt form (or, as the other reply said, dp/dt), since it covers more than just a few specific cases. My point was, it is common practice to teach simplified forms of more complex subjects to start, even if it is incomplete. I was just trying to give a few examples.

Comment: Re:Wait... They want them to dumb things down... (Score 1) 511

by Qantravon (#32766388) Attached to: Do Scientists Understand the Public?
Actually, things like this are done all the time. For example, think back to when you were first taught math. Actually, a little further, to just numbers. I don't know about you, but I was originally told there were no numbers below zero, and thus you can't subtract a number from one smaller than itself. Oops, that was wrong, wasn't it? They're called negative numbers.

Move forward a bit to square roots. You can't take the square root of a negative number. Whoops, wrong again. You get an imaginary, or complex number.

This even persists through college. I'm in a class right now where, from talking to people ahead of me, I know that most of the information is dumbed down to the point that it will become utterly useless in the following classes, because the physical models are too simplified.

Actually, let's take a look at your F=ma example. F=ma isn't truly accurate. It's really F=m(dv/dt), since "a" isn't necessarily constant.

This all gets even better, when you start thinking about the fact that many things most people think of as fundamental truths and facts go flying out the window when you get into the realm of relativity or quantum theory. Time flow is constant? Not when traveling near lightspeed or near a large enough mass. An object has a defined position and momentum? Not on small enough scales.

Concepts like this are simplified all the time, often to the point that, to someone who knows better, they're wrong. Now, I'm not saying it's a good thing. I would much rather learn it right the first time than learn it incorrectly and have to fix what I know later. But, somebody decided that wasn't the best way to teach "complex" concepts, thus that's the way it's done.

Comment: Re:it's magic! (Score 1) 115

by Qantravon (#32599466) Attached to: Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Set For Launch
I can only speak from what I know, and in my personal experience, of the people I know, most if not all who are interested in those games have no qualms about upgrading to maintain a capable computer. Of the gamers I know, most tend to take a point of pride in the capabilities of their personal computer.

Of course, I am completely willing to believe that my experience qualifies as a random outlier. If I can see evidence to support it. I just don't personally know that many (if any) "gamers" that would go for this type of setup.

Comment: Re:it's magic! (Score 1) 115

by Qantravon (#32599340) Attached to: Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Set For Launch
I was talking in terms of majorities and generalities. Most gamers have a setup that's capable of running games well. That doesn't necessarily mean "dream setup," it means capable. For example, my computer is far from top-of-the-line, but it will still run most new games at mid-to-high settings. For me, that's good enough. For a lot of people, it's good enough.

Comment: Re:it's magic! (Score 3, Interesting) 115

by Qantravon (#32598930) Attached to: Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Set For Launch
It's true that hardcore gamers are going to have systems capable of running these games well, locally. By which logic, their target audience shouldn't be hardcore gamers, but the more casual gamers looking for slightly prettier graphics than their box can handle.

However, look at that list of games. Those aren't games targeted at the casual audience. Those are the very games that are going to be picked up almost exclusively by the same gamers who already have capable systems. MMORPGs, maybe some find-and-click games, that's what they should be offering, not lightning-paced FPS'es, 60+ hour RPG's, and combo/timing intensive action games.

This is why I think OnLive is going to flop. Their game selection is targeting the wrong audience.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 142

by Qantravon (#32574692) Attached to: Microsoft Explains Mystery Firefox Extension
Oh, I wasn't suggesting that the number of people who update manually was in any way large, I was just saying that it is incorrect to assume there is absolutely no one who does. Although, I do think it is a little higher than you do. Maybe 1%, a little less.

And I'm willing to believe that graphics drivers go unupdated a lot, however, every one of my friends who games knows enough to check for updates every so often, so I guess I just surround myself with unusual people.

Comment: Re:US Govt. Restrictions (Score 1) 297

by Qantravon (#32550052) Attached to: The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume
Well, I know the scenario of people suggesting a possible outcome, and then others misinterpreting that to mean the outcome has actually happened, and then there being a reaction to the fictional outcome, has happened. In fact, it's part of the reason some people are so against D&D. There was a fear that kids could get so attached to a character that, if the character died, the kid would commit suicide. As far as I know, this has never actually happened, but ask someone who is against D&D (particularly for that reason) and they'll likely tell you it DID happen.

So, what I'm saying is it could (and if it starts spreading enough, probably will) happen. It's basically a grown-up version of telephone. Except with consequences.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 142

by Qantravon (#32549914) Attached to: Microsoft Explains Mystery Firefox Extension
Actually, I do update Windows manually. Automatic Updates is turned off, and I check the Microsoft update site about once a week. Why? There have been times that there were pieces that I didn't want to install (such as the Firefox extension they snuck in with another update, a while back).

I've also had issues with Automatic Updates in the past, where it somehow got to a point where it would download the data, but couldn't actually install. Then I'd restart, and it would stay stuck at the same point. The issue was never resolved on that machine.

Beyond all that, I just like to know what's on my computer.

More than just my personal idiosyncrasies, I know of a piece of software that every user in the world must update manually, especially if they want to play new games. Graphics drivers. To my knowledge, no graphics manufacturer has a system to auto update their drivers. Sure, Nvidia occasionally puts new drivers out via Windows Update, but it's always listed under "Optional," which tells me that it probably doesn't get picked up by Automatic Updates.

This is all just in the interest of full disclosure.

Comment: Re:Same with sugar rush in kids (Score 1) 506

by Qantravon (#32441878) Attached to: Caffeine Addicts Get No Additional Perk, Only a Return To Baseline
For years, I've been drinking 2-3 Dr Peppers a day (size of each drink ranging from a 12 oz. can to a 44 oz. drink from a fast-food restaurant), that often being my only liquid intake. Yet, somehow, when I took a trip and had nothing but water to drink for a week, no withdrawal symptoms. No idea why; I was sure I was going to be addicted. Maybe it's because no one told me you could get addicted to caffeine until I was about 10, and even then I had trouble believing them. Now, given the choice, I still go for a soda, but that's just because I like the taste.

As for medicine, I've long detested taking it. Most people I know, if they get a headache, they reach for the aspirin. Personally, I just go lie down in a dark room for a little while, assuming I have the time. It works 100% of the time. If I don't have time, I try to just put up with it until I do. If it gets really bad, to where I can't focus well, then I'll take something.

Maybe I'm just weird.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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