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Comment: Re:I kind of welcome the attention (Score 1) 165

by RyoShin (#46835669) Attached to: NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires

maybe if they spent more time dealing with people who are not then they might find it easier to not treat everyone like they are.

Long ago, when I was still a member of TotalFark, one of the "open" threads started talking about anime. TotalFark is more general (though usually silly) news and so is equal parts jock/average joe/nerd. Here on Slashdot I probably don't have to explain what anime is to anyone, but on TF you might run into the odd person who does.

Anyway, so we're discussing our favorite Anime and giving recommendations, and one guy comes into the thread and just goes apeshit at everyone participating, asking how we could possibly enjoy that filth and accusing us of all sorts of things. After questioning him about just why he thought it was all horrible, we found out that his only experience with Anime was as part of some anti-child-porn group or task force (I believe it had to do with FBI investigations, but this was quite long ago...) and he had only ever seen lolita/CP hentai. Perhaps he was older or somehow managed to avoid any utterance of Dragonball Z in high school, but since that was his only experience with Japanese Animation he thought it was representative of all Japanese Animation. As I recall, it wasn't hard to make him realize that what he experienced was a only small portion of hentai, which was only a small portion of anime in general.

If the police only spend their time dealing with human filth, and the only decent people they meet are police, it could easily explain how many get the us vs. them mentality. It doesn't excuse it, but it does give a starting point to remove it. It might also help explain the "Blue Code of Silence", because they think that even if a fellow cop does something bad it would be worse to turn them over to the criminals (i.e. everyone who is not or was not a cop.)

As with your idea, requiring police to rotate between "enforcement" and "public service" roles would probably do a lot to mellow out the antagonizing ones and be far easier than any current attempt to actually bring them to justice when they abuse their position. It wouldn't solve all the problems, but would go far to bridge that gap.

Comment: Re:Sunk Costs (Score 1) 285

by RyoShin (#46828791) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

I'm reminded of a cousin's girlfriend (who caused him no small amount of grief, but that's another story) who had a few birth defects, one of which was Amelia (or something similar) on her left arm. Her mother, who sounded like a rather nasty individual, apparently tormented her over the arm and so she learned to hide it as much as possible.

She was rather good, too; while I didn't interact with her too much, I had seen her off and on for about two months before someone clued me into her uniqueness. Only after that did I notice it; she makes it seem as though she just keeps one arm tucked in somewhere (her pocket or purse or whatever) and freely uses the other one, which doesn't seem odd if you only see her now and then.

Comment: Re:Doesn't matter. I block all of Ukraine anyway. (Score 1) 304

by RyoShin (#46808223) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

I help moderate a small 4chan-like website and we started getting hit by Child Porn bots in mid-January. We're moving to different software right now, and in the process we analyzed all of our bans for spam and CP in the past year, finding that Ukraine made up about 70-80% of that (including most of the CP).

So in our new software we just banned the entirety of Ukraine and most of Russia in the hopes of stopping the tide.

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:

Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan