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Comment: Re:Cheapest Plan (Score 1) 273

by RyoShin (#46468177) Attached to: WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up

Aye! I was with Verizon for three years, but after the BS they tried to pull over Network Neutrality and their firm stance on forcing me to buy a data plan--despite using minimal data (that I only used because I was paying for it, not because I needed it)--because I had an outdated smartphone, I decided to switch. I chose T-Mobile for the exact same reason, getting the pay-as-you-go plan. (They also said they don't force the data plan on smartphones, which I believe, but I got a dumbphone so I couldn't test that.)

Unfortunately I fumbled the switch over and had my number ported too early, meaning I had to pay Verizon's cancellation fee. This revealed to me just how horrible their customer service was (until then I'd had mostly pleasant experiences with them the few times I had to call) in trying to get my last month properly pro-rated.[1] However, now that all is settled and done, I paid $200 for signing up with T-Mobile (half service, half for the phone+taxes), plus an extra $20 to Verizon over what I would have paid for my final month; that was back in October, and since then I haven't had to fill the phone once, meaning I've so far saved $170 (Verizon was approx. $80/mo). I still have >$50 on the phone, too, so this works great for someone like me who makes few calls/texts. And, theoretically, I can easily go to a monthly plan (still no contract) if I think I'll be using a lot in a short time frame, then back down to pay-as-you-go (I imagine I'll lose what minutes I have left when I first change, though.)

[1] WARNING TO EXISTING VERIZON USERS: If you have a contract and wind up in a similar situation as I (porting the number, cancelling the service, being charged the cancellation fee, and then trying to get time paid for pro-rated back), you must explicitly call and tell customer service that your phone number was ported or they won't consider it "cancelled". Their customer service tried to wiggle out of pro-rating me because I didn't do that, despite calling on three different occasions from the ported number, confirming on all three calls (if quickly) that I had full changed over, and them already charging me the cancellation fee. In the end I got my money, but it was a pain in the ass because their customer service kept saying they would do X but not do it or only half do it.

Comment: Re:Are you sure? (Score 1) 221

by RyoShin (#46361043) Attached to: South Park Game Censored On Consoles Outside North America

In any case, this game is rated "M" - anything goes.

Not quite. "M" games can get away with a lot of stuff, mainly violence (even gory violence, like Manhunt 2[1] or MadWorld), but if you show too many boobies, sex scenes, or maybe even a single instance of fully-rendered genitals, you get the abhorred Adults-Only (AO) rating. From the ESRB's website:

MATURE
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
ADULTS ONLY
Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

AO (roughly equivalent to the NC-17 movie rating you mentioned) is abhorred because no chain in America will stock games with that rating. Some indie video game stores might, but I'm not aware of any particular ones. This is why very few games have the rating. Leisure Suit Larry is probably the most well known AO series; Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas got a retroactive rating of AO after the Hot Coffee scandal. (Warning: NSFW image/details)

Digital releases should make an AO rating far less of an issue, but it seems that even Steam won't allow them[2], so developers still have to release on their own. Were retailers less restrictive about this (perhaps stocking it behind the counter or something), in America they likely would have gone for and gotten the AO rating for Stick of Truth.

When they make a kid show an ID to buy an M-rated game, or enter an R-rated film, it's also not governmental requirements, except in rare cases where local laws have been enacted to piggy-back on them.

These have historically been thrown out as unconstitutional, as well, even when all most do is codify what most chains have as a policy (blocking the sale of M-rated games to minors). I don't know that any state has gone after the AO rating in any fashion or, if they have, that it has been challenged in court.

[1] Manhunt 2 did receive an AO rating originally, but Rockstar edited the game and re-submitted to get the M rating. The "Uncut" edition still has the AO.
[2] I can't find neither a specific policy or any AO games on Steam with a quick search, except for an article about them pulling a sex game from Greenlight on day one

Comment: Stanley Parable (Score 1) 669

by RyoShin (#46300595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

My go-to game/hat collection simulator has been Team Fortress 2 for the last six-ish years, but every now and then I'll play something else.

I picked up The Stanley Parable during the last Steam Sale and, I have to say, it is a complete riot. For anyone who's played Bastion (another one I recommend, but it's a few years old now; waiting for Transistor to come out this year) you have the same idea of narration, but The Stanley Parable does it far better (it's pretty much the point of the game) as a "first-person adventure(?)" instead of an "isometric action" game. It's also the closest I've seen to a video game version of the old "Choose Your own Adventure" book series. Wonderfully hilarious and the narration is done by Kevan Brighting so it's super charming, as well.

I haven't done much in the way of console games as late, but I'm now a generation behind anyway. However, if you own a 3DS and are a fan of the Ace Attorney series, I cannot recommend AA5 enough. It's digital only (booooo) but still a little bit cheaper than most 3DS games and the 3D actually seems to add to the wonderful animation.

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by RyoShin (#46291989) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

It's been a while since I read the instructions, so I could have been the one doing it wrong, but as far back as I can remember that's how it was done. Take the plastic pouch out of the cardboard box, put it in inside the heater bag, then add water and wait. You could then put the heater bag inside the now-empty box, which would be useful to hold the flap down, but I never found it worth the hassle.

Though the pouches will fit, but it's a fairly snug fit, which is why you want to put the pouch in THEN add water; doing otherwise means you'll probably get burned by the steam.

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by RyoShin (#46282591) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

Haha, yeah. You definitely don't want to go past the line, because that makes it really likely that the boiling water will force its way out of the bag. At the same time, if you do too little it won't create much heat and, from my experience, if parts of the heater "lit" but others didn't the "lit" parts would somehow render the "unlit" inert.

The way I would do it is to take the element out of the bag, put the packet of food in, fill with water to the line, then put the element back in the bag, laying the bag down on the side where the element is. This seems to provide enough water to keep it rocking for some time (especially in Basic, I would use the heaters to warm myself after eating the food and dumping out the water) without causing it to go over.

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by RyoShin (#46281095) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

The chemical heaters didn't really do that good of a job heating the food.

When I was in the Army (got out at the end of 2011) that wasn't my experience; however, it had to be done a certain way, which there wasn't always time for.

You put the packet of whatever in first, then fill the bag to the line. Once the reaction starts, you want to fold the top over and lean it against something to hold that fold, and that lean should be as close to the ground as possible without allowing any water to spill out. After a few minutes you pick it up, fold the opening the other way, and lay it down on that side so that the hot water can evenly touch both sides.

Because it will heat the part touching the chemical heater the best, if you feel really daring you can take the packet out, flip it over, and put it back in (making sure the opposite side and end are now touching the heater). This is much easier said than done, so I don't recommend it.

In any case, the key after all of this is to massage the packet once you take it out of the heater bag. Even if you only had time to do one side, massaging for 10-20 seconds should distribute the hot contents amongst the rest (also making it easier to eat because you won't have pockets of molten meal.) Very often, though, I found the heat more of a pain than anything; some items actually taste great cold, I particularly liked the Pesto Chicken Pasta under any conditions.

(Thankfully I never had the luck of being forced with an omelet MRE; I could always throw it back in the box and get something edible. I was a cook and in my unit the cooks were responsible for getting and handing out MREs, and we always had a box or two of omelet MREs at the end of every field mission...)

Comment: Re:American poor (Score 1) 717

by RyoShin (#46279035) Attached to: Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

food desserts

(Psst, I think you meant "deserts". ;) ) I completely agree, and I want to add extra focus to this. Food deserts are actually a very large problem that I think most people are unaware of; it's one that I'm only beginning to learn about in these last two months, and I consider myself more well-read than the Average Joe. I think everyone should read up on them.

Food deserts are a far larger problem than most people probably realize when they first hear about them, one that can't be cured just by increasing unemployment benefits. You could have a "decent" income but, with nothing to properly spend it on, you may as well have nothing. Not only do food deserts result in high prices at "local" stores (which, as you pointed out, aren't necessarily that local), but often times these have a severe lack of fresh foods which only increases the problem of obesity.

The thing is, especially for "WASPs" (I used to be one), the idea that there isn't a moderately-stocked grocery store in the vicinity is so foreign that you may as well suggest that poor people can't afford toilets in their homes. Even when growing up in small towns and suburbs in an upper-low income family, we always had grocery stores nearby; even if their prices were higher than average we would get by fine, and once or twice a month drive to a nearby city to stock up on non-perishables in bulk. So this is something that had to be told to me (I first learned about it through a short NPR story) and may never have figured out on my own unless I experienced it first hand.

OTOH, I think this offers a huge opportunity to entrepreneurs who have a huge humanist/charity streak and aren't looking for buckoo profit. I envision a chain of small corner stores, where produce and food can be easily transported by refrigerated vans or small trucks, which can also be used as community centers on upper floors, dispersed throughout rural areas. There are a lot of hurdles that would have to overcome to make it happen, but if they are then I believe such a system could really help a rural area at large.

Comment: Slashdot Alternatives (Score 2) 237

by RyoShin (#46177523) Attached to: Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

Like everyone else, I couldn't find the option to reply to the story itself, so first post it is. I even did a cursory look in the source code. And the site is supposed to go live this month? (Good to know that Preview still shows it wrong, too.)

In any case, at this point it seems pretty obvious that Slashdot doesn't give a shit about the concerns of the users. No acknowledgement that we all hate it, no /. poll, nothing. According to the alert on the main site, we'll still have the "Classic" option for a few months, but after that it's Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter.

So where else is there for a nerd to go? Slashdot has survived this long, IMHO, for two main reasons:
1) User base
2) Moderation

The user base is about more than quantity (which can be useful), it's about quality. Insightful individuals, some who have experience directly with the kind of stories we discuss, from a wide range of demographics that lead to very useful commentary (no one reads /. for the stories.) This isn't something you can whip up in a month or even a year, and certainly as people leave it won't be as a group. Is there already another site that has the kind of user base that /. does?

The Moderation is what allows that User Base to shine, though. Even if Digg or Reddit (or even 4chan) has the same ratio of informative/interesting/insightful posters they are completely drowned in crap and other users whoring for upvotes. Slashdot's moderation system, both in its explicit limitations (only so many mods at a time, and you can only give out so many points if you are one) and expansive options (being able to say why you're giving a vote, rather than just an up/down.) I'm not aware of any other website that uses anything nearly as comprehensive.

I'm sure there are plenty of ways to fork /., (the obvious is Slashcode, which doesn't seem to have any recent updates, but that may be a good thing), but even if you can rebuild the site it will be very hard to rebuild the community, so perhaps migration to another site is a better option, though I can't give a suggestion of what.

Comment: Re:Porn is everything's killer app (Score 1) 216

by RyoShin (#46050129) Attached to: Porn Will Be Bitcoin's Killer App

You laugh, but someone has already combined the Oculus Rift with something like the Novint Falcon attached to a strap around the crotch to create a sex simulator (anime-themed, of course, so probably a Japanese company.) I'd search for the video of it in action, but I'm at work so it would probably be a Bad Idea. :)

Throw a Fleshlight in there somewhere with a stable (and modular, for various positions) housing and, boom, you're a step or two below a holographic sex bot as seen in something like The 7th Day. By 2020 I bet many porn shops will replace their video booths with virtual hooker booths, where the guy picks his "girl" of preference (oh, I can just smell the lawsuits over using the likeness of actresses, models, and video game/fictional characters), puts on the headset, and gets busy with a box.

Comment: Re:Scroll bar steppers are gone from Chrome (Score 1) 141

by RyoShin (#46031459) Attached to: Google Chrome 32 Is Out: Noisy Tabs Indicators, Supervised Users

Not only did they remove them, but in the process they broke much of the scrolling functionality for some users: https://code.google.com/p/chro...

I've received at least one complain from a user of our small company website, then found out that a few of our office folks were having the same problem (they primarily use Chrome, I primarily use FireFox.) It was double fun because I have auto-updating turned off for Chrome and, when I went to update, I wasn't affected by the issue so I had to find someone else's computer that was and do my testing there.

A lot of users who encounter this problem with wrongly blame the issue on the website they're using instead of on Google.

(I'm actually okay with removing the arrows; they were likely removed as stats showed they were rarely used, with people either using the moving part of the bar and dragging it, or just clicking on an "empty" part to jump up or down, or using their scroll wheel; that last functionality was kinda broken in this release, too.)

Comment: Re:Seniority in management or age? (Score 1) 181

by RyoShin (#45982081) Attached to: Senior Managers Are the Worst Information Security Offenders

While I agree that much of this may be about older CxOs not having experience with equipment, this is not a problem that will die with them.

Just like "Kids these days have no respect or aptitude" has been a thing since the days of Socrates (or, rather, Aristophanes?), so to is "Old people just can't understand" (or, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks".) For the past two decades it's been the internet. Before that it was computers in general. In two decades people 30 years our junior will have hushed conversations about how we're having trouble targeting our Brainmemos to certain employees instead of broadcasting to the entire company, wondering why we find it so hard to figure it out.

Those assistants and entitlements will stick around, too, but they'll adjust to different things just as the thing that we can't adjust to will also change.

Comment: Re:Thank fucking Christ... (Score 1) 462

DOES ANYONE DOUBT AMERICA IS NOW ESSENTIALLY A POLICE STATE??

I do.

Because as bad as things are now, as many privileges the government grants itself (both openly and in secret), as much money is spent on LEO/military gear and gadgets but not on training, as many exceptions as they are claiming from the Constitution, as much "oversight" as they give themselves, as many private prisons are built and those companies push the government to fill them, as much power as the courts happily rubber-stamp for the government, and as much as they claim we need what they are doing for our own protection, we, as a country, still have so much further we can fall.

And I see us continuing to fall.

That is why and what I fear.

Comment: Re:Time to ask the bank for a new debit card and P (Score 1) 213

by RyoShin (#45831845) Attached to: Encrypted PIN Data Taken In Target Breach

I can personally attest to this. This past labor day my debit card (which I'd had all of six months) was used to purchase some pharmaceuticals over in Spain to the tune of $300+. Since the debit card is through Visa, their protection services called me to let me know about the odd charge. My credit union I had the card with did diddly to inform me; I had to call them. After some pain with paperwork (which they had to mail/fax and I had to mail/fax back) Visa ruled in favor of the merchant (because it's totally plausible for me to order pills from Spain that were likely shipped to a Spanish address when I've never stepped foot outside the continental US.)

Thankfully, my credit union is really good (aside from not catching the charge themselves) and reimbursed me the total amount after the ruling, but I was still down that amount for about two weeks (and, since I already end each month with no money, this made things quite stressful.) But I will never again use my debit card online.

The end of labor is to gain leisure.

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