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Comment: What about the wheelbarrow? (Score 3, Interesting) 199

by Yxven (#45758173) Attached to: Obamacare and Middle-Wheel-Wheelbarrows

As interesting as it is to guess why another waterfall government IT project failed, I'd rather know why we aren't using wheelbarrows with wheels closer to the center. As a guy who has mostly used wheelbarrows for moving concrete, having the wheel support the majority of the load instead of half (or whatever) sounds like a huge advantage.

The Wikipedia article on wheelbarrows suggests "However, the lower carrying surface made the European wheelbarrow clearly more useful for short-haul work." Does that reason really pan out? Can anyone think of any other reasons?

Comment: Re:Not much else to say. (Score 5, Informative) 838

by Yxven (#36441052) Attached to: Terry Pratchett Considers Assisted Suicide

For those that don't want to read it, this is the argument:
"If we adopt a law holding that a person has the right to kill himself, soon we will also adopt euthanasia; because if the individual has the right to say when his life is no longer worth living, soon society will claim this right as well."

The rest just bashes the media, liberalism, and socialism.

Comment: fanboyism vs atheism? (Score 1) 636

by Yxven (#36185920) Attached to: Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans

Are there any guesses on how fanboyism correlates with atheism?

It would be interesting to learn if atheists were more likely to fill their religious gap with consumer products or if atheists were also less likely to become fanboys.

Disclaimer: I'm an atheist that avoids apple.
Disclaimer: correlation != causation

Comment: Sports are fun... (Score 1) 293

by Yxven (#35907034) Attached to: Taking the Fun Out of <em>StarCraft II</em>

If you look at all the games through history, how many multiplayer games can you name that people have played for more than 10 years that weren't competitive and balanced? I can think of 0.

I feel like this guy's idea of a "fun" unit is one that looks cool but is strictly worse than alternatives, and losing is NOT FUN. If his "fun" unit dominated the others, everyone would build the "fun" unit and the game would NOT BE FUN.

Magic the gathering has plenty of suboptimal cards, and I do enjoy trying to "break" them. However, I only usually try to break it once or twice. Then, it effectively goes in the waste bin.

Adding a lot of cruft units to Starcraft 2 for the sake of "fun" is just going to make the game more difficult to hotkey and more intimidating to new players.

Plenty of us enjoy games that take skill to play and time to master. You don't waste that sort of time on a game that isn't balanced.

Comment: While Knuth may be the authority on algorithms, (Score 1) 176

is he the best teacher?

Put another way, if a motivated student wanted to become a top-notch programmer and cared only about his knowledge and not the bragging rights of being able to read Knuth's books to completion, would you still recommend this series or is there another resource that you would like to share that you think explains the concepts better?

Personally, whenever I pick up one of these books, I get turned off due to having to learn a trivial programming language just to understand the examples. (Not because I think learning it would be difficult but because it feels inefficient. I wouldn't be interested in computer science if efficiency wasn't a main motivation in my life.)

Comment: Re:f.lux (Score 1) 155

by Yxven (#35416278) Attached to: Study Shows Technology May Inhibit Good Sleep

F.lux really does help with insomnia. I doubt it's the placebo effect since you set it up once and forget about it.

If you haven't heard of it, it's a free simple program that adjusts the colors of your monitor when the sun goes down in your area.
http://stereopsis.com/flux/

I credit F.lux with curing my insomnia.

(I'm in no way related to the project)

Comment: Re:exercise (Score 1) 178

by Yxven (#33792074) Attached to: Best Mobile Computing Options For People With RSI?

Someone mod this guy up.

Strength training with wrist problems will only aggravate your condition. Improving blood flow to the area seems to be the way to go. Although, I'm not sure what the best way is to do that.

(I have RSI's from typing/using the mouse. I haven't figured out how to fix them yet, but strength training did not help me.)

+ - Mandate cross-platform compatibility?

Submitted by
Yxven
Yxven writes "Given the high availability of cross-platform programming languages and libraries, are there any technical reasons against legislation that would encourage new commercial software to be operating system neutral? What exceptions would be needed?"

Comment: Switching was an easy choice (Score 1) 554

by Yxven (#28921437) Attached to: The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large

I don't have to manage my playlist or do anything extra to discover new music.
The variety of stations available online means that I never have to listen to music that's stale.
I can listen from any computer in the house.
It costs nothing.
The amount of commercials is tolerable.

The only downside is that I can't find any riaa-free stations. Does anyone know of any?

Comment: so what? (Score 1) 100

by Yxven (#28242431) Attached to: Sequoia Disclosing Voting System Source To DC

I don't understand what this accomplishes. What are they going to do? Look for bugs? They already know there are bugs. If it was sabotaged, they're not going to get the code that was used and will only find bugs.

This is like calling the fire department after the barn has already burned to the ground, except that the fire will likely be allowed to continue.

Math

Interview With Alan Feng of Starcraft College Class Fame 46

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-and-true-uses-for-math dept.
An anonymous reader writes "GosuGamers has posted a very interesting interview with Alan Feng, talking about the course he is teaching on game theory when applied to Starcraft at the University of California at Berkeley. We discussed early news of the class back in January. 'I studied what I knew: history and mathematics. With my fairly good mathematics background, I came up with all sorts of equations, tables and charts to give me the best result in every case. For instance, I once worked out using the binomial theorem that it is slightly more beneficial to send new workers to the *edge* of a mining line rather than the center. Over the course of maybe 3 minutes, this kind of movement will let you mine about 300-500 more minerals than you normally would. Ultimately, I failed at my pro-gaming bid, but, my year of study of StarCraft gave me something that I think no other SC player can offer the academic world: rigorous proof and analysis. And because of my calculations, my proofs, and most importantly, the way I can connect these calculations to real-life examples I was able to present it in a way that Haas Business School would accept as a topic for teaching.'"

Comment: Re:A related article was just posted on nytimes (Score 1) 1064

by Yxven (#27037147) Attached to: Why Doctors Hate Science

Re: A related article was just posted on nytimes If anyone is interested:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/health/02scans.html?hp=&pagewanted=print [nytimes.com]

(a) Coincidence or

(b) organized health insurance industry propaganda campaign?

(c) It doesn't matter.

I think you are right to be skeptical of insurance companies because their greed causes a conflict of interest with their customers, but I think this research is good for exactly the same reason.

We live in a society where doctors are actively marketed to and recruited by drug companies.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/08/21/ep.conflicts/index.html

If you can be treated equally well with a cheap generic drug or an expensive newly patented drug, which drug are you going to receive? I'd hope the former, but from my experience with doctors, I really don't think the Hippocratic Oath applies to bank accounts.

This research aims to address that question of which drug is truly better for the public and to hopefully standardize the most effective practices. I think that's a good thing.

The insurance companies will most definitely try to use this research to increase their profit margins by saying things like, "the more expensive drug x is only marginally better than drug y, so we're not paying for it," but they already do that. It's really a separate battle.

I do think that battle deserves to be fought. I just don't think fighting it by knocking this research is the best way.

Comment: Re:Let the CEO's work from India (Score 1) 493

by Yxven (#26759753) Attached to: IBM Offers to Send Laid-Off Staff to Other Countries

What do you suggest?

As a consumer, I am expected to vote with my feet.
As an employee or business owner, I am expected to make money by satisfying consumers.

These are apart of the fundamentals that make capitalism work.

Personally, I think IBM is behaving as expected. I would prefer they and every other corporation vote with their feet than hire lobbyists to "work with the system."

I realize that's bad for us Americans in the short-term, but maybe then, we'll stop "voting for cruft."

"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it." -- Baskins

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