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Comment: Re:Still photos (Score 2) 218

by Znork (#49365201) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Yeah, a better compromise is removing the pilots. If it's possible to build an autonomous car, building a completely automated plane is a simple exercise in comparison. Run it on cargo for a few years, leave an option for remote control, but frankly, between terrorists, suicidal pilots, drunk pilots and pilots doing the completely wrong thing, it's time to look for a more long term solution.

Comment: Re:Oh, *BRILLIANT* (Score 4, Interesting) 317

You can find any number of stories about people without any acting skills convincing those professionals that they are psychotic. Frankly, it's just a question of presenting the correct initial criteria, of which the first one will be 'being delivered by the police', and confirmation bias will take care of the rest. Seeing a lot of pathology simply doesn't help that much when symptoms are as vague and subject to interpretation as they are with mental illness.

Usually people seem to have a harder time convincing the professionals that they are, in fact, perfectly rational and not suffering from any serious mental illness. That will of course be an uphill battle against confirmation bias; they are, after all, in a psychiatric holding facility.

Comment: Re:We've redefined success! (Score 1) 498

by Znork (#49229701) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

If I ever get the fleeting motivation to just get it over with, I certainly don't want anyone intervening, because at that point I'll know that the only thing worse than depression is ending on your deathbed at an advanced age with the biggest regret in your life being that you didn't end it a long time ago, while there still was something but a wasteland of meaninglessness to look back on. Once anhedonia has turned everything you ever used to enjoy into ash and you're a shadow of what you were, it's not like there's much left to save. Just some flesh going through the motions like some horrific parody of life.

And no, the vast majority of suicides would not ultimately be grateful if they were saved. Ultimately they'll just be dead. Either way. Like everyone else.

I'd find the arguments for suicide prevention much more convincing if the proponents weren't seemingly suffering from psychotic delusions that they're not just postponing the termination point. I get the uneasy feeling that it's more about refusing to face their own mortality than any genuine concern for how the individual will experience the rest of their existence. That they have their delusions threatened by people deciding to check out early.

It would be far more honest to simply admit that as biological beings we are, for some very logical evolutionary reasons, afflicted with a certain level of mental illness, delusions and compulsory behaviour that will make us prefer living to dying and if the depressed person will give it a chance and take some help, maybe the lower biological instincts will assert themselves and override the cold logic of reality. And we can pretend that it'll last... just... a... little... bit... more...

Comment: Re:um, OK (Score 1) 690

by Znork (#49015679) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

The economics prize is not a Nobel prize, it's a memorial prize to Nobel, instituted by the Swedish Riksbank (central bank). If economics as a science is even mature enough to have any serious prize is debtatable, considering the state of the field seems to be pretty much still arguing about whether the earth is flat or spherical (and awarding 'Nobel prizes' to members of both factions, plus the faction arguing that the earth is actually a dimension-traversing hypercube).

But then again, there's a Nobel prize for literature, so maybe they could merge the economics prize into that one.

Comment: Re:And the game continues (Score 1) 181

by Znork (#48951357) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Is Back Online, Properly

While I would like to agree with you, and while you're responding to an argument that makes no sense, I think you need to work on those arguments a bit.

First, comparing artificially scarce goods to any kind of real scarce goods is something you should avoid doing at all. Arguments like spoilage aren't particularly relevant, and spoilage is usually (throughout the history of mankind) fought as much as possible. With the advent of preserves and freezing we can do a lot, but you still don't see the world overflowing with century old preserves; instead, variety increases and everyone can afford more fruit. Preventing spoilage means scarcity decreases.

With media it's the other way around. The more you prevent 'spoilage' in the form of piracy, the more scarcity you get. Fewer people can afford what they wish, and artificially scarce goods aren't as fungible as apples.

A more valid comparison would be to compare it to a non-scarce physical commodity like air; theoretically an industry could be constructed by forbidding everyone to breathe without a measuring mask. We could hand money paid for every breath to owners of oxygen producing woodland or other means of production. That would create a huge industry wherein people would feel the right to get paid, yet it's quite obvious that such an artificial scarcity would probably be harmful to humanity as a whole. Much like copyright can be considered harmful and arguments can be made that incremental improvements of art would be as productive even in its absence, although focus might be somewhat different.

And yes, economically piracy is a good thing, but not because of the somewhat flawed broken window fallacy, but because it is responsible for a large pareto improvement (the economic value of the gain made by those who obtain the product who would otherwise not have bought the product (ie, zero-loss for the producer)). Basically it reduces the deadweight loss damage caused by monopoly pricing and restores a modicum of competition when competition is illegal.

About the ethics; I consider monopoly rights inherently unethical and any upstanding citizen should ignore them if they can. There are a multitude of ways that we could promote work in the production of arts that would result in higher rates of production, better pay to (most, and in particularly to the specifically deserving, ie, artists and creators rather than lawyers or financiers) involved parties and without the damaging artificial scarcity.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by Znork (#48895593) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Anyone labelled 'videophile' is expected to be blown away by new video equipment. Or gold-plated optical connectors. So.

Do an actual blind-study where you downsample the same original material and then run through 20 random samples, half with the lower-res material and half with the higher, guess what you're seeing and have the computer tally the results. At a viewing distance of 10 feet, with a 50 inch screen, I don't do much better than chance on 720 vs 1080 and I've got 20/20 as long as I'm wearing glasses. Nor should I, as that barely even touches 1080 perceivable territory.

Here's a helpful chart to assist with appropriate placement distance for that display:

About 3-4 feet and you'll get your money's worth.

Now, on the other hand, if they could improve contrast ratios to the point I can get sunburn from watching Dune, then I'll start getting excited about improved display quality.

Comment: Works as designed (Score 5, Interesting) 191

by Znork (#48854479) Attached to: Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

Patent and copyright laws have never been about compensating inventors or creators. If they had been, they would be mandating actual payment to them.

Their construction as monopoly rights in a market where few individual creators or inventors will be scarce resources ensures that the negotiating power will be entirely on those in control of markets and distribution networks. The middle man can easily just pick up another provider of materials, while the originator is forced to take whatever deal is offered or face being unable to reach customers at all. Modern technology has slightly improved the situation with better opportunities, but ultimately, the deck is stacked solidly against the creators.

But that's working as it's designed. The purpose of monopoly rights has always been to provide stable market power and protection from free market competition for the friends of the crown. Creators are merely the convenient, powerless and easily replaceable excuse.

Comment: Re:strawman; nobody's asking him to be "PC" or "ni (Score 1) 361

by Znork (#48839867) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

Most managers manage less than a couple of dozen individuals personally. They can afford to spend some time to shape employees into appropriate productive parts of the team.

If you're at a higher level and in one way or another in charge of thousands of individuals most people on lower levels will have the sense not to waste your time unless absolutely necessary, they're completely sure of what they're doing and their communication is highly relevant. Mail your 5k+ employee corp CEO with budget suggestions based on random numbers taken out of your ass? Best case you'll get ignored. Expecting a polite reply after he's personally taken time to run your numbers and realized you haven't even actually looked at the current budget, checked with someone else or know anything about accounting? I... don't think that's what's going to happen.

The purpose of such communication back isn't to encourage more such waste of time. It's to ensure it doesn't happen, ever, again. And preferably make sure nobody _else_ wastes time that way either. In a company with a normal hierarchy and a reasonably accepting management culture, that would most likely be handled by the employees manager being tasked with making sure that the employee understands that while input is welcome, pure waste of time is not.

Now, I suspect this is rather academic, as I don't think that many patches causing obvious bunches of compile errors actually reach Linus these days, but would go through possibly multiple layers of reviewers and maintainers before he'd even see it.

But it's an interesting topic. I mean, if you're intellectually honest, you'll admit that in the absense of an actual hierarchy that can manage problems, there is a certain percentage of people without sufficient social awareness and self-control that would eventually take up so much time when you scale up a project that you'd get stuck with all your time being spent on those individuals. Polite and friendly replies do not work; these are not people with normal social awareness who can read between the lines in your reply (or anyone over the age of 10 wouldn't have sent the unchecked work in the first place to someone most people understand is fairly busy, but would rather carefully ensure they know the proper procedure and have more senior but less busy persons help them to ensure they do nothing wrong).

Can you come up with an _effective_ way to manage the problem? Personally I'd probably simply put such people on ignore and lock them out, I don't like insulting people. Alternatively, not reading anything by default and ensuring anything I see is already vetted would be an option if I had others I could rely on but then their time would have to be cheap enough that I thought it reasonable to waste or I'd ask them to ignore such people as well.

Insulting someone? Well, while I wouldn't chose that option, such words do, as you say, have an impact. If that impact is what is needed to prevent the waste of time, while still allowing the possibility of them changing and contributing in the future then it might be less unappreciative than my own likely method of simply permanently ignoring them.

Comment: Re:did you see that piece (Score 1) 556

by Znork (#48640517) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

It's beyond hypocrisy to make this moment the stand against the lack of integrity in games journalism when there has never been any to begin with. Games journalism was born at a time when journalism in general had already become grossly commercial, and it set out to emulate it as closely as possible. The games magazines followed the format of the sports magazines, which were already about selling you shit. It would be shocking if it had not come out to be horribly corrupt.

I would agree, and frankly I don't think it's the pay-per-review that's driving the gamergaters, as that issue is hardly new. I think they're getting triggered by these largely corrupt journalists attacking games, content and gamers, and the well known corruption is simply an easy and legitimate target in a two-sided shit flinging contest.

The fact that sex was the tipping point proves just how pathetic the gamergaters are.

I don't think the allegations of sex really were that important, the only extent to which they seem to have mattered at all was through the Streisand effect. Getting a private matter like that shut down is probably entirely possible if there aren't a host of high-profile and relevant tangential matters that will quickly start surfacing, and once you try shutting those down there's not going to be any tacit 'private matter, take it elsewhere' support from 99% of somewhat decent people.

Oh, and careful with the hustling suggestions, that's gonna get the SJW's on your ass for being a redpiller.

Comment: Re:did you see that piece (Score 3, Informative) 556

by Znork (#48631759) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Giving sex or blow jobs for preferential treatment is not a problem. However, a journalist not disclosing that he was receiving a blow job from the subject of his review while writing it could be considered an ethical breach.

Of course, the same goes for any other more common methods of obtaining promotional preferential treatment, such as donating copies of games, travel or hardware. The producer of the product has rarely made any commitment to limit how they encourage promotion of their products, but the journalist does implicitly make a commitment towards their readers to perform their job with a certain level of professionalism and adherence to good journalistic practices, which is where the ethical problem appears.

Whether anyones genitals are involved in any step in those chains is frankly irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Knee-jerk... (Score 2) 256

by Znork (#48501481) Attached to: UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

Mainly that Twitter appears to be turning into one of the main platforms for online bullying and harassment and that the police want in on the action as well.

Is it a result of the brevity of tweets leading to the inability to engage in any meaningful communication? Is it an effect of Twitters social dynamics with following/followers? Interesting research could surely be done, possibly qualifying for an Ig Nobel prize.

Comment: Re:Most youg ones don't know crap... (Score 1) 376

by Znork (#48491777) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

Of course, thinking that the technology a company is developing is so new and different that experience is meaningless is usually the effect of not having enough experience.

A lot of things in the IT industry seem to move in cycles, and while there are certainly those that seem to stagnate of any age, for those inclined to continously adopt new technology having experienced a similar technological shift twenty years ago rather means you're halfway to understanding the implications of an up and coming one, how to use it and its probable limitations.

And as far as neural degeneration goes, I'd agree. Unless you have an actual disease wrecking your neurons, loss of capacity rather seems related to lack of interest and rigidity, stress related damage, lack of confidence or similar. Most people I see continously actually using their learning capacity seem to keep highly capable of learning new things well beyond retirement these days.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!