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Comment: Re: Holy crap! (Score 1) 1109

People have been stocking up. That's what it boils down to. If you want to find a paranoid personality, look no further than someone who owns an assault rifle. Now get a bunch of these people together and convince them that people are out to not only kill them, but take their guns and ammo as well. Tada. You've just created demand. And supply apparently can't keep up.

Comment: Re: Holy crap! (Score 1) 1109

Seriously? Pulling a trigger is immensely easier than actually going through the horror of stabbing yourself. Yes, the latter can be fatal, but it takes a lot more work, especially if you don't know what you're doing. Also, the psychological terror of having to cut yourself open might actually dissuade some people from going through with it, unlike a gun, which is simply...well, point-and-click.

Comment: Oh? These? (Score 1) 53

by Rie Beam (#43424391) Attached to: Gambling-Focused Internet Cafes Now Illegal In Florida
We have this all around the coast here in South Carolina -- they even advertise on billboards. SC banned private gambling operations (such as poker machines) in 2000 while simultaneously starting the "South Carolina Education Lottery" to fill the void; many businesses went kapoot then, but recently this private surge of Internet Cafe gambling has come out, as technically gambling from a server located in another state is still a grey area. Charleston hasn't really done anything to impede the progress of places like this, but Myrtle Beach has actually had raids on these locations and arrested people for illegally gambling. As it stands, I am five miles from seven different "Internet Sweepstake" cafes.

Comment: Half-Truth: It's The Perspective, Dummy! (Score 2) 313

by Rie Beam (#42574091) Attached to: Learn Basic Programming So You Aren't At the Mercy of Programmers

I think the author may have stumbled over his analogy a bit; rather than suggesting "Learn to sing, or else you'll be at the mercy of an asshole", it's more along the lines of "Learn to sing, so you know what to look for in a good singer". Big Idea People (henceforth referred to as BIPs) are not necessarily a bad thing -- sometimes they do genuinely come up with something good that would benefit the market -- but BIPs have an issue: they tend to have absolutely no concept of what is required to execute their idea.

People on here are imagining CEOs trying to do their jobs and having a good chuckle, but they're missing the point. Your boss, unless he himself used to be a lowly programmer, isn't going to be executing his ideas in any form that could be marketable. I don't believe the author was intentionally arguing this; rather, I think the more important point deals with being able to bring their vision down to a realistic level -- less "My boss is coding our new Android app" and more "My boss now understands why we can't duplicate the functionality of Google in two weeks time". The more he or she codes, the more they begin to understand the work involved.

I've never really considered myself much of a programmer, but having learned to code, I can respect the word involved and that a simple line count doesn't tell the whole story. The same basic principle applies here, too. Not only can it shoot down unrealistic ideas but it can keep them from getting proposed in the first place; they die at his desk, never having left the room, because he figured out long before opening his mouth that, under the current circumstances, it was unreasonable. At the same time, knowing what is possible can potentially give him new ideas about the direction of a project that not only work, but actually might make sense. This is not a bad thing.

Ultimately, there's only so much you can do and there will be limits to what the person in charge of your project knows. Be happy; you're not redundant.

Comment: Having This Issue in SC (Score 1) 244

by Rie Beam (#41567311) Attached to: We Don't Need More Highways

We have a situation relevant to this here in South Carolina.

Currently, Myrtle Beach is in the process of purchasing and developing right-of-way for a freeway connection to I95. As it stands, there are zero actual freeway connections to the town; we do have freeways but they're all local spurs and not connected to the rest of the system and, as such, are still signed as local roads. The primary connection into town is U.S. 501, which generally becomes extremely congested during the summer tourist season here, as the road that, at its greatest width, is two lanes each way handles an influx of traffic from the entire Southeast.

The problem is that the freeway in question is basically being entirely developed on top of wetlands. At least two rivers are being crossed along with over fifty miles of swamp. This has led to a little bit of local opposition but, truth be told, it's something that the area does desperately need. The issue could be solved by upgrading and expanding the prior-mentioned U.S. 501 (which would require a massive right-of-way buy, including a lot of imminent domain issues as the road has plenty of houses bordering it) or by finishing another connection to Wilmington (only 60 miles up the road, but in North Carolina, which apparently has no desire to fund a road which would draw tourists away from the state). As neither option has political support, it's beginning to look like Mother Nature is about to take another one for the team here in SC.

http://www.i73insc.com/

Comment: Ecosystem (Score 3, Insightful) 255

by Rie Beam (#41346025) Attached to: Google Pressured Acer/Alibaba Because of Android Compatibility Issues

There's that word again. These "walled gardens" are more akin to zoos than true ecosystems -- all they offer is the convenience of finding the different flora and fauna together in one spot, with the restriction being how you interact with them. Some people could benefit from more direct interaction; still many others would be eaten by lions if given a chance.

Comment: Not Likely (Score 1) 636

by Rie Beam (#40582525) Attached to: Preparing For Life After the PC

So carriers are back-pedaling out of offering unlimited data packages for phones -- yet the "cloud is the future". Right.

The technology that we've grown accustom to over the past few decades won't simply be uprooted by a mobile competitor. Phones haven't replaced PCs; they compliment them. They work perfectly for the social side of things because they can be used when a computer is out-of-reach and slightly impractical.

But don't fool yourself -- no one is going to write a paper on a phone or a touch pad. Someone who wants to watch a movie or really do anything outside of the practical limits of mobile technology is going to continue to turn towards its antiquated uncle, precisely because it can still do these things, cheaply and much easier.

Comment: Gotcha! (Score 4, Informative) 414

by Rie Beam (#40128071) Attached to: 350-Year-Old Newton's Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old

http://jugend-forscht-sachsen.de/2012/teilnehmer/fachgebiet/id/5

Text is in German. It all stems from a Youth Research competition he entered into back in March of this year. This is, so far, the best summary I've found -- there is a paper, apparently, but no link just yet.

'Two problems in classical mechanics have withstood several centuries of mathematical endeavor. The first problem is therefore to calculate the trajectory of a body thrown at an angle in the Earth's gravitational field and Newtonian flow resistance. The underlying power law was discovered by Newton (17th century). The second problem is the objective description of a particle-wall collision under Hertzian collision force and linear damping. The collision energy was derived in 1858 by Hertz, a linear damping force has Stokes (1850) is known. This paper has so far only the analytical solution of this approximate or numerical targets for the problems solved. First, the two problems are solved fully analytically. For the first problem will be investigated further using the analytical solution, the physical behavior of the system and set up outline solutions for generalized models. For the second problem is carried out in order to increase efficiency and convergence control a semi-analytical optimization. Finally, the analytical results are compared with numerical solutions so as to validate accuracy and convergence to numerically."

Comment: When in Doubt... (Score 4, Informative) 414

by Rie Beam (#40128041) Attached to: 350-Year-Old Newton's Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old

...go to the source! The German articles I've scoured seem to have a little more information about the problem itself and what he actually accomplished. The oldest one only records that he "claims" to have solved them (earlier this month), but so far no actual data. Close.

http://www.enso-blog.de/jugend-forscht-drei-arbeiten-aus-ostsachsen-beim-bundeswettbewerb
http://www.morgenpost.de/vermischtes/article106358144/16-jaehriger-Schueler-loest-uraltes-Mathe-Problem.html

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert

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