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Comment: Re:They also left out a good deal of context (Score 1) 973

by Qrlx (#31771292) Attached to: How Did Wikileaks Do It?

>The cameraman was even found lying on top of an RPG round.

Right, and they found a hijacker's passport in the rubble at Ground Zero too.

>The pictures recovered from their cameras show that they were sitting one block from a group of vehicles that were under small arms fire. The perfect place from which to launch an RPG attack

So, they had pictures of a Humvee, they had RPGs, and they had the perfect place from which to attack. Why then did they never attack? The most logical explanation is that they weren't terrorists after all.

Another possibility is that Reuters cameramen have joined the Iraq insurgency. That one seems a little less likely.

Comment: Re:Who cares how? The better question is why the b (Score 1) 973

by Qrlx (#31771174) Attached to: How Did Wikileaks Do It?

The pilot and gunner did not know this. Under the Rules of Engagement, when some of a group is armed, they are all combatants

In other words, if the chain of command mistakenly believes you've got a rocket launcher, the ROE permit an indiscriminate and unprovoked attack.

Thus the text provided by Wikileaks is accurate.

GUI

Making Closed Software Act Like It's Open 157

Posted by kdawson
from the latter-day-screen-scrape dept.
The Installer writes "Researchers from the University of Washington have managed to add customization and accessibility options to proprietary software without ever touching the source code. Rather than alter program code, Prefab looks for the pixels associated with the blocks of code used to paint applications to a screen, grabs hold of them, and alters them according to whatever enhancements the user has chosen to apply. Any user input is then fed back to the original software, still running behind the enhanced interface."
Games

Game Difficulty As a Virtue 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-hail-battletoads dept.
The Wii and various mobile gaming platforms have done wonders for the trend toward casual or "easy" games. But the success of a few recent titles, despite their difficulty, has caused some to wonder whether the pendulum has swung too far; whether a little frustration can be seen as a good thing. Quoting: "The evidence is subtle but compelling. For one example, look to major consumer website GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2009: Atlus' PS3 RPG Demon's Souls, which received widespread critical acclaim – none of which failed to include a mention of the game's steep challenge. GameSpot called it 'ruthlessly, unforgivingly difficult.' Demon's Souls was a sleeper hit, an anomaly in the era of accessibility. One would think the deck was stacked against a game that demanded such vicious persistence, such precise attention – and yet a surge of praise from critics and developers alike praised the game for reintroducing the experience of meaningful challenge, of a game that demanded something from its players rather than looked for ways to hand them things. It wasn't just Demon's Souls that recently flipped the proverbial bird to the 'gaming for everyone' trend. In many ways, the independent development scene can be viewed on the macro level as a harbinger of trends to come, and over the past year and into 2010, many indies have decided to be brutal to their players."
PC Games (Games)

EA Shutting Down Video Game Servers Prematurely 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the sixty-dollar-yearly-fee dept.
Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 874

by Qrlx (#30350280) Attached to: Scientists Step Down After CRU Hack Fallout

Look at this graph from your link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

During the time in which we have ice ages, CO2 fluctuates between about 180 and 280 PPM. Now we are well past the upper bound, at 380 ppm and climbing.

What causes you to believe we will continue to have ice ages now? The atmospheric CO2 concentration is not within the realm of previous ice-age cyclical behavior.

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 874

by Qrlx (#30304330) Attached to: Scientists Step Down After CRU Hack Fallout

But, the next ice age is still coming, regardless if we select "Pol Pot" or "Party On". And we'll be buried under volcanic debris again. And we'll be the bottom of an inland sea again. A mere two or three ice age cycles from now, you'd never know the difference between "Pol Pot" and "Party On". Certainly in a couple million years or so, it would be nearly impossible to tell.

Do you really have a basis for this statement? In a couple million years some radioactive waste will still be radioactive, and I have been led to believe large amounts of plastic will still be around for at least a few thousand years if not millions.

Ice ages have happened in the past. But, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." And also realize we've changed the conditions. The climate of today has 2x the atmospheric CO2 concentration than the climate which has for the past few hundred thousand years regularly produced ice ages. On what authority can you state that we are still within the bounds of that cycle? Our fossil fuel use has driven the system well beyond normal operating parameters.

Comment: Re:Everything we eat is GM. Everything. (Score 1) 427

by Qrlx (#29536083) Attached to: Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets

Is it just the tool that's the problem or is it hysteria

It's release unknown, untested organisms into the biosphere. Killer bees for example. Kudzu in the south is another warning sign. Snakes in Guam.

Everything we've eaten for millenia has been genetically modified for maximum yield and higher efficiency. We just have different tools now.

We can now directly modify genes. It's not the same thing as breeding hybrids, etc. There is no way to breed a strawberry with a salmon. Though if someone has tried, I'd like to see it on YouTube.

Eventually Mostanto could create a roundup-ready corn using artificial selection, the same way we've been doing it since we dug furrows in Mesopotamia.

The problem with this statement is that we can't keep some of that Monsanto corn to plant next year, the same way we've been doing it since we dug furrows in Mesopotamia.

Comment: Re:Most food we eat is genetically modified (Score 1) 427

by Qrlx (#29536019) Attached to: Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets

The GM foods allow for agriculture in places that would normally starve.

I'm curious, at what point does your Christian outreach organization actually teach a man to fish, i.e. teach the poor in barren land to construct their own GMO crops, that they might survive without your charity and religious proselytizing?

To sum up, I doubt that teaching the poor to subsist on expensive, patent-protected GMO seed is in accord with the teachings of Jesus.

Comment: Re:cops (Score 1) 251

by Qrlx (#29535901) Attached to: Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid

they've come to the conclusion that it should be illegal as a result of their experiences with it and not because they're assholes?

Depends. Did they try it more than once? Did they smoke it throughout college and law school, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?

But let's say they tried it and personally didn't like it. So now it should be illegal for everyone?

The grandparent poster has a valid point.

Comment: Re:Most food we eat is genetically modified (Score 1) 427

by Qrlx (#29535835) Attached to: Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets

I don't think it's accurate to call it evolution unless it is the product of random mutation.

When we splice the salmon gene into the strawberry, it's not random, and it's not a mutation. Perhaps the best phrase for it is "Intelligent Design."

Though it should be noted the self-proclaimed intelligent designers have a long history of hubris...

Displays

Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs? 277

Posted by timothy
from the for-the-well-equipped-hermit-cave dept.
mrchaotica writes "I'm in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I've looked at have various 'Internet TV' features (here are Samsung's and Panasonic's). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a 'standard?'). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic's case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it's easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don't know the extent to which that support actually exists. Here are my questions: 1) Is this 'Internet TV' thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick? 2) Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly? 3) Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?"

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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