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Comment: Re:Too bad (Score 5, Interesting) 277

by SpottedKuh (#45968799) Attached to: OpenBSD Looking At Funding Shortfall In 2014

I had the pleasure of having beer with Theo when he was in Edmonton, AB several years ago. He even refused to let me go to the ATM to grab cash; he bought the beer for me.

My only complaint about the guy was that he was way too smart, and I struggled to keep up with all the computing security things we discussed. Hardly the worst complaint to have about him :)

He just has zero patience for bullshit, and I think that's why people complain about his personality. If you ever get the opportunity to meet him in person, I believe you'd rethink this meme about him being an ass.

+ - Final Fantasy Done Quickly for Diabetes Research->

Submitted by SpottedKuh
SpottedKuh (855161) writes "Members of the online speedgaming community Speed Demos Archive are currently gathered in Edmonton, Canada playing through 16 games from the Final Fantasy series back-to-back in a mere 96 hours. They are raising money for JDRF Canada, an organization dedicated to treating, curing, and preventing type 1 diabetes. So far, they have raised over $20,000 for JDRF, and there is still over a day to go in their marathon. Watch the marathon, purchase the commemorative t-shirts printed by The Yetee (with $3 of every shirt sale going to JDRF), join the chat, and donate to a great cause at"
Link to Original Source

+ - Final Fantasy Done Quickly For Charity->

Submitted by SpottedKuh
SpottedKuh (855161) writes "From 15-19 March 2013, members of speedgaming site Speed Demos Archive are gathered in Edmonton, Canada to speedrun games from the Final Fantasy series. They will play through 16 games from the Final Fantasy series, back to back, in approximately 96 hours, and the entire event will be streamed at live. They have tonnes of prizes to give away to donors, from classic video games to plush chocobos and moogles. All donations go to JDRF Canada, a charity dedicated to treating, curing, and preventing type 1 diabetes."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:All that and he still only squeaked by (Score 1) 208

by SpottedKuh (#41914639) Attached to: The Data Crunchers Who Helped Win The Election

Because the monarch plays a limited but important role in government. It is her job to appoint a Prime Minister (not always trivial in a hung parliament); and, it's her decision whether to call an election, or to appoint a new PM from the current Commons should the government fall on a confidence motion.

You could eliminate the monarch...but then you'd just need to replace her with someone else who would do those jobs (call that person a president, chancellor, or whatever else you like). And what have you gained? (Aside from having to reprint all your currency, reissue passports to all your citizens, rewrite parts of your constitution, etc.).

Comment: Re:Yeah well (Score 5, Informative) 208

by SpottedKuh (#41914515) Attached to: The Data Crunchers Who Helped Win The Election

Are you saying that there aren't local governments in the UK? Because that's not correct in the slightest.

Or are claiming that the landmass of a nation determines when it can be successful as a monarchy? Because Canada is larger than the US, and functions well enough with a queen and parliamentary system very similar to the UK.

Or are you claiming that it's population size that determines if a monarchy could work as a form of government? Claiming it doesn't scale with population is as ridiculous as claiming that counting ballots by hand doesn't scale in large populations -- the arguments just make no sense.

Comment: Re:Open Access and Old Business Models (Score 1) 220

by SpottedKuh (#39408793) Attached to: Boycott of Elsevier Exceeds 8000 Researchers

I'm curious - what do you suggest as a better way to compare 400 candidates applying for 4 jobs? Don't forget the most important constraint: you are not an expert in any of their fields.

And the other important constraint: you don't have infinite time to read material and seek out experts to determine the quality of their publications. It is unfortunate, and I wasn't trying to imply with my comment that there is some better way (or that I have any idea what a better way would look like).

But, I've found some amazing, insightful papers on the personal webpages of professors near retirement, who no longer care about the grind of publication. I've seen absolute crud (to the extent of being poorly plagiarized) in high-calibre conferences, and I've seen truly insightful work decried as pointless by one of the "old boys' clubs" that run some of the high-calibre conferences. I'm not saying I have a fix; I'm just saying that the perceived "value" of a venue isn't reflective of the quality of work in that venue relative to other places.

Comment: Re:Open Access and Old Business Models (Score 4, Informative) 220

by SpottedKuh (#39408557) Attached to: Boycott of Elsevier Exceeds 8000 Researchers

Aside from the peer-review process, what do these journals offer the scientific community that they can't get for free on the Internet?

Unfortunately, within the academic world, the quality of publications on your CV is determined by the perceived quality of the venue (e.g., high-impact journals, low-acceptance conferences, etc.), as opposed to the quality of the actual work getting published. There's an inertia problem faced by any new publication venue or method, and the academic world is ironically slow to adapt. At the end of the day, professors need tenure, grad students need scholarships, etc., so they will continue to publish in what are currently accepted as quality venues.

Comment: Timeline (Score 1) 387

by SpottedKuh (#32895496) Attached to: RIAA Paid $16M+ In Legal Fees To Collect $391K
Thank you for the good chuckle, NewYorkCountryLawyer. I'm curious: where on the timeline of events does this 2008 disclosure form fall? Is that before or after some of the atrocious monetary awards given out by the courts? In other words, will the RIAA see greater collection in the future, based on more recent court cases setting precedent for amounts to be awarded to the RIAA?

Comment: Re:electoral boundaries (Score 2, Informative) 237

by SpottedKuh (#32108302) Attached to: Another Stab At a Canadian DMCA

The Prime Minister is not elected directly, he's simply the head of the party that got the most seats.

To clarify further, the prime minister can actually be any person at all (it's constitutionally questionable whether the prime minister even need be a Canadian citizen over 18 years of age). The Canadian system of government is very different from the American system, and few Canadians know how our system actually works (thanks to bombardment of American media and their electoral system).

The head of state is the Queen of Canada, Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen of England. Her duties are carried out by the Queen's representative in Canada, the Governor General (currently Michaëlle Jean), who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister.

When elections are called in Canada (which happens every five years, or sooner if the government loses the confidence of the house), Canadians go to the polls and elect 308 representatives to the House of Commons -- one representative from each riding in the country, in a first-past-the-poll vote. While there are some independent members elected to the house, typically the members come from one of the four major political parties: the Conservatives (right-of-centre), the Liberals (central), the New Democratic Party (left-of-centre), or the Bloc Québécois (a Quebec-interest-only party). The Green Party (left-of-centre) has also nearly elected some members to the house, and briefly held a house seat after one member crossed the floor.

Once the 308 members have been elected to the house, the Governor General chooses someone to be the prime minister. That person will form a government by choosing people (here, I mean anyone he or she pleases from the general population) to be their ministers.

The newly formed government, with the prime minister chosen by the Governor General and ministers chosen by the prime minister, then faces a vote of confidence by the house. Here is where the elected representatives of Canada have their say: do they have confidence in the abilities of the newly formed government to lead the country? If they say no, the Governor General must either find a new prime minister and government that could hold the confidence of the house, or dissolve parliament and call a new election to find 308 new representatives.

So, in practice, in order to ensure that the chosen prime minister and government will have the confidence of the house, the Governor General will appoint the leader of the party with the most seats in parliament as the prime minister. But, with all that said, it's important to note that our system is very, very different from the American system in which a president is elected.

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan