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Comment: Re:Gabe Newell is perhaps the biggest driver of th (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#48226215) Attached to: PCGamingWiki Looks Into Linux Gaming With 'Port Reports'

But no, the Microsoft Experience is inviolate, the holiest of holies, eternally immutable. No matter how much hatred it gets, it Must. Not. Be. Changed. And then Alienware ships a Windows 8 PC that boots to Steam instead of Metro. SteamOS's job is done. When no-one was looking, Steam took Microsoft and snapped it like a twig.

Or Microsoft found out they must cede the battle to avoid losing the war. That doesn't mean Valve should get complacent, once you make a threat like that it'd better stay credible. If they back down too far Microsoft might try for a blitzkrieg shoving the Microsoft Store down users' throat before Valve has time to rekindle the SteamOS project. At the same time they don't want Steam to go mainstream to avoid making it a real enemy to Windows.

Comment: Re:Already everywhere in France (Score 1) 626

by Kjella (#48221789) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

I went to a McDonalds in paris, france 9 years ago so old school ordering. It was a TOTAL MESS. Busy and NO ONE formed lines like in the USA. It was completely disorganized. I was like wow in the US we have a distinct 1 line per register and people are always cautious asking "are you in line?".

That's because you don't want to get between a land whale and his supersized Big Mac with extra cheese and bacon, double onion rings and bucket of Coke.

Comment: Re:Not a feminist issue. (Score 1) 541

by fyngyrz (#48220927) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Being able to be offended is free speech

Troll. All you did here was invert my argument and then complain about it. I agree that the argument you made up is invalid.

That is not the equality which feminism is about.

Your entire sally was a troll, which is why I only gave it a one-line answer.

none of that is relevant to anything

What I said was relevant. What you said definitely was not.

Comment: Re:Criminals are dumb (Score 1) 63

by Kjella (#48220109) Attached to: Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

So what? Since there's no central authority to block transactions or seize funds they'll simply be passed around until any relation with the crime is meaningless with almost everybody in the transaction chain is blissfully unaware that somewhere they were stolen. Then what? If you find the person behind the wallet and seize the "stolen property", you introduce a massive transaction risk that totally undermines the cryptographic guarantee that the transaction is final and irreversible. Imagine the following scenario, you sell a car for bitcoins. The bitcoins come in, transaction is verified, you hand over the keys. Then you try to spend your bitcoins only to be told that they're stolen, we have the serial numbers and is returning them to their rightful owner. Now you have no bitcoins and no car and good luck recovering it.

Imagine if cash was that way, every time the grocery store tried to despoit money at the bank the bank would say "oh no, this and that bill came from a gas station robbery two years ago so we'll return it to the gas station and deduct it from your deposit. The system would crumble as cash couldn't be trusted to really have the cash value it says, even if it's a genuine bill. Everyone with money of questionable origin would pass it off to others who can't and won't verify their legitimity and let others pick up the tab. By all means, if the cops can uncover a whitewashing operation that's fine but once it's passed back into normal circulation again you can't suddenly take away that value.

Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 209

by fyngyrz (#48219045) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

I didn't say you had to learn them. I said they were there. The implication -- true -- that there are many more to learn to get to higher levels of literacy. I also pointed out that 2000 was a specific level of literacy.

Try not to get too carried away with your imagination. Just read what I said. Not what you think I said.

As for a simplified character vocabulary, take a trip to Taiwan, why don't you. See how that works out for you.

Your experience is only your experience.

Anyway, whatever.

Comment: Not so easy (Score 1) 209

by fyngyrz (#48217985) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

If the Chinese language is really such a notoriously difficult language to learn (and to speak) there ought to be no one using it anymore, right?


When we're young, we benefit from massive plasticity in our language learning skills, and of course any child who learns Mandarin (and sometimes Cantonese as well) is going to make a much better native speaker than I am ever going to make, despite the fact that I've devoted years to it and am highly motivated.

It's not just learning words. It is how things are said, references to metaphors and myths and such, and the fact that it is not a "spelled" language; the characters you're familiar with each represent a word part or a word that means one thing on its own, often something else in combination, and very few of them are used the way we use them in western speech. About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough? Oh no. A while back, Those In Power decided they were to o hard, so they "simplified" a bunch of them. Great, right? So you only have to learn the simplified ones, right? Wrong. The traditional ones are everywhere, and plus, some places in asia use the old ones, not the new ones. And then...

(Very) simple example. In English, I I ask you if you want soup, you might say "No." Easy, right? So you how to say no, (Bu Shi) Now you know what to say if I ask you about the soup and you don't want it, right? Wrong. In Mandarin, the question of if you want it is composed, literally, "want not want", (yao bu yao) to which you are expected to answer either "not want" or "want." (Bu yao) or (yao). And down the rabbit hole we go. :)

Trust me. As an adult English speaker, you go into learning Mandarin thinking it's easy, you're in for a serious encounter with your limitations.

Comment: Re:Hindsight (Score 1) 81

by Kjella (#48216489) Attached to: Apple 1 Sells At Auction For $905,000

If there was 137 more working Apple 1, they wouldn't be worth that much.

No, but there's 137 people who can each legitimately say "If I hadn't put my machine in the trash, I'd be $900k-ish richer". And I'm not sure how quick the value drops off but I doubt going from 63 to 200 machines (about 3x) would be worse than inverse square so (1/3)^2 * $900k = $100k/machine, that's also a nice chunk of cash.

Comment: To the face-in-phone generation(s): (Score 1, Insightful) 253

by fyngyrz (#48216325) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

You old people crack me up.

No, honestly, you arrived pre-cracked.

It may well, somehow, be our fault that you are cracked, but it an absolute certainty that our habits of actually talking to people are superior to yours of sitting at a table or walking down the street with your friends, looking only at your phones, as you busily talk to anyone but the people you're actually with.

Comment: Not a feminist issue. (Score 2) 541

by fyngyrz (#48216257) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Among the healthy and mature, there's no right "not to be offended"; not for men, and not for women. There is 100% equality here.

Such offense is subjective; every possible attempt to minimize it by law boils down to an unworthy suppression of freedom, something that is unhealthy for society no matter how you go about it.

Even when a particular mode of speech, or some consensual/personal action, is pretty much uniformly despised, it's far better to know who says, and therefore has motivation to say, or does, these terribly offensive things, than it is for society to repress these people and then jump up in stark surprise when they move from unseen and unheard to resentful action as a means of kicking back against said repression.

Speech, in many cases, serves as a moderately effective safety valve. You never want to close such a valve and walk away. Because you get this.

If something you look at offends you, look away. If something you hear offends you, stop listening. If something people do offends you, don't participate. Your subjective feelings of offense can never rise to the relevance required to legitimately regulate the behavior of others.

Until something breaks your bones, damages your property/finances, or impugns your reputation, or these things similarly directly affect those for whom you perform the role of parent or guardian, the correct action is to turn to managing your own sensibilities -- rather than trying to control other people's actions.

Now, as to the immature and incompetent, in particular, children: Parents and guardians have a dual responsibility here. In order to be able to execute that responsibility, your home should be a safe haven in the sense of you being able to completely control who, and what information, gets in, and when they get in, and when they must leave. Society owes it to you to see to it that this capacity is readily available to you. Your home should indeed be your castle. To the extent it isn't, society has either failed you, or you have failed your charges. Schools and/or any other situation requiring attendence must likewise be supportive and safe, or society has lost its legitimate right to force your children to attend.


On the one hand, it is your responsibility to see to it that your charges are not bullying, generally or specifically being an asshole to others. You are responsible for inculcating the understanding that immature and/or insufficiently abled minds can be taken to, and beyond, the brink by bullying, and then you must see to it that this understanding translates into reasonable behavior by your charges (which, by the way, will work to reduce many types of essentially pointless trolling later on.)

On the other, it is also your responsibility to see to it that your charges are not being bullied. You should know where your charges hang out, who they hang with, what the environment is like, and you should step in when that environment, in your estimation, becomes unhealthy. Stepping in may involve a note to someone else's parent or guardian, removing your charge from the harmful environment, or simply providing sufficient perspective so that the behavior is seen in the light of failure of the perpetrator, rather than any kind of lessening of the value or self-image of the target.


If your charge cannot be taught to healthily handle the speech, displays, or consensual actions of others, then it is your job to see to it that they are not exposed to those things. It is not society's responsibility to turn the entire planet into a padded room for your charge. If you need a padded room, you should build one of your own.

For every story I have heard so far of horrible consequences to bullying, my reaction has been "Where were the parents during all this?"

And I have to ask: If your charges are not being raised with healthy self-images and a strong sense of self, what the fuck are you doing? And why are you doing it? Why are you such a totally shitty parent or guardian? And why do you expect the rest of us to compensate for your failures?

Again, these people's abject failure at parenting does not rise to the level of telling everyone else they can't call someone something when, in fact, it is pretty apparent that something is called for.

Having said that, most online forums and comment sections are not public operations. They're private. And in that role, they have both the power and the right to monitor and control the content and activity on that forum. If you invite people to spend time in what pretty much amounts to an environment you created, then you'd better tell them up front what the limits, if any, are for that environment, and see to it that you are accurate about it. If (points at facebook) you allow your operation to get too large or otherwise out of your effective control, I really don't see how that absolves you in any way from being absolutely clear to all participants that you are not, in fact, able to guarantee any particular kind of environment or control what is going on. And no, burying such things in a veritable tar pit of legalese doesn't suffice. Be plain; be clear; let no user into your "thing" without a road sign that says "alligators!" or whatever else it needs to say. Because it does need to be said.

The very idea of freedom requires a concomitant effort to ensure a competent citizenry. If you create a nation of pearl-clutchers, you will have created an environment where repression is the always go-to of the regulators. To some extent, this is already happening, particularly in nations like England, which has pretty much fallen off the wagon of sanity and is busily engaged in chewing its own tail off. It would be lovely if the USA didn't follow them any (or at least much) further down that road.

Comment: Re:That's An Ambitious name? (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by Kjella (#48215873) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes

If "Utopic Unicorn" is an ambitious name, I'm afraid to see what comes next.

utopia = ideal, perfect state
unicorn = magical, legendary creature

I think you'd roll your eyes too if Apple or Microsoft came out with OS X 10.10 "Magic Perfection" or Windows 10 "Magic Perfection", respectively. It's the kind of name that makes you go "Okaaaaaaaaay, are you overcompensating for something?"

Comment: Re:We had a distributed social network (Score 1) 253

by Kjella (#48215397) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Not a whole lot of people I knew and having your own hosting and domain costs a bit, most used third party blogs and forums anyway. And it all lacks authentication and aggregation. Sure, you could set up users and accounts and manage all that but people wouldn't bother to manage 100 separate accounts the way they have 100 friends on one Facebook login. And unless every site it set up with an RSS feed there's no easy way to aggregate lots of blogs and give you one dashboard of what your friends are doing. Nothing really unsolvable though, you could have self-hosted for yourself and third party hosted nodes for other people but there'd have to be a business model for the hosting companies. People generally won't pay when they can get a "free" account on Facebook so then most are really back to ads or data mining for most people anyway.

Comment: Pre-mapped environments are a dead end (Score 4, Insightful) 283

by fyngyrz (#48209057) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

The only way a car can be designed to safely self-drive is doing it just the way we do: by creating a local, up-to-date mapping of the surrounding area in real time and working within that representation with sufficient skill to respond to anything that might appear.

Pre-existing environmental mapping simply cannot keep up. Construction, pets crossing the road, wild animals, falling rocks, pedestrians, vandalism of road signs and traffic indicators and lane painting, washouts, drunks, heart attacks, stinging insects, oversize loads swinging around traffic lights and signs, special transports, some guy at the side of the road madly waving a hand-printed sign that says "BRIDGE IS OUT!"... the list of unpredictable effects upon the local driving environment seems almost endless -- and keep in mind these things can occur in combinations of more than one type and more than one incident. Often suddenly.

Further, if the car is smart enough to be capable of updating the environmental map in real time and deal with any combination of changes, then it's already smart enough to maintain a completely dynamic local mapping and doesn't need a pre-existing mapping for anything but gross navigational purposes (route planning) and even that can require the vehicle to adapt.

Contrariwise, if it isn't smart enough to maintain a full local environmental mapping, then it is inherently unsafe.

Someone(s) at Google didn't think this one through.

Comment: Re:Is it open source yet? (Score 2) 123

Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

They all have your data, they can do whatever the f... they want with it. Unless you're talking about a client backdoor to access all the other files you didn't want to share with the cloud, but I don't think any of the others are any better. If you want real control, it's ownCloud or no cloud I think...

Comment: Re:I didn't lie, I just gave false statement (Score 1) 91

by Kjella (#48208115) Attached to: Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud

Wow, the ability to come up with "he did it, but it' wasn't bad enough to warrant legal action" excuses has had a huge renaissance.

More like you accuse someone of defamation and it's the difference between "He told people I'm an asshole" and "He told people I'm a child molester". Both are defamatory statements by definition "1. (Law) injurious to someone's name or reputation)" but only one is actually illegal. Even if you're selling a polished turd you can make a lot a objectively highly questionable praise, misleading statistics and lies by omission without actually incriminating yourself. Like the defamation example above, you usually have to be caught in a factual lie in order to be convicted. Every sales pitch strategy I've been involved in involved pushing our strengths and concealing our weakness, if that was illegal we'd have to put all of marketing and sales in jail. And every person who went on a date ever. Meaning /. won't change much, I guess.

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.