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Comment: Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (Score 3, Insightful) 173

by arlo5724 (#43559817) Attached to: From 'Quantified Self' To 'Quantified Car'
Not to sound like a total douche but I try to drive as efficiently as possible. At first it was a personal finance issue since I noticed that driving efficiently saved me considerably over the course of a year. Now that I make decent money it's less about that and more that I don't have any particular reason to be wasteful. And since I'm not trying to impress anyone out there and not driving 500 miles a day, frankly I'd rather give as little money to oil companies and car makers as is humanly possible. If the app was on Android I would probably have already pre-ordered one...

Comment: Body tinkering - nerd it up (Score 4, Interesting) 635

by arlo5724 (#43173595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
So I'm a nerd who works in a chair all day, but I also weight train at least 3 times a week and run competitive times in everything from 5Ks to half-marathons, AND I used to weight about 320lbs (I weigh around 160 now). The trick? I treat it like I do everything else I love to do: I think of my workouts as ways to fix, tinker, and improve (dare I say, hack?) my body. It's easy to think of our computers (or whatever we work with daily) as important extensions of our physical selves, but we seem to do this to the detriment of our actual bodies. I wouldn't let one of my systems limp along with broken hardware/software and have spent hours or days fixing problems, so why shouldn't I commit half an hour a day (to begin with) to my own physical upkeep? It turns out that although it was a seemingly IMPOSSIBLE struggle at the onset, after several weeks I began to really genuinely enjoy it! Running in particular got me hooked because it's the sort of thing you can keep working on, and continue improving, without ever feeling like you're stagnating if you do it right. It seems to me that anyone with the typical geek mentality could easily change their mindset to feel the same way. Of course, it's just my experience, and therefore anecdotal at best, but still my 2 cents.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 292

by arlo5724 (#42877753) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?
There is a bigger issue here, though. If we assume that people can create communities online, and that we should take this as evidence of a "space" for these avatars, then how does morality work in such a space? How about governance? Laws? Would/should these concepts apply only in the space itself? Currently, there is no effective governing body within "cyberspace" (cringe) that acts solely within that same space. Instead, the assumption is made that there exists a mapping of the members of the "online community", the avatars, back to human people in the real world, and we attempt to govern the human people accordingly. The problems with this are many, this site seems to exist to list them. As just one of the many examples, what if behavior is legal in the person's place of residence, but is perpetrated against someone in whose country it would be illegal? Should there be an International Court of Cyberspace? What about crimes perpetrated by online "beings" outside of control of people in the real world? The behavior of viruses of even just buggy software that are unintentional? If we want to go ahead and say that cyberspace is real, then shouldn't we be able to define a governing body whose jurisdiction is online and who punishes/reforms avatars? This seems absurd if for no other reason than that any mapping from people to avatars is not injective. Although it is amusing to imagine the CyperPolice putting my Slashdot avatar in CyberPrison until I learn to shape up. It is this very absurdity that makes me want to agree that the notion of some sort of online "space" is just simply invalid. It seems that any definition of space, in as far as it should apply to people and governance, needs to include the ability to meaningfully govern within the space itself. A corn field is a space, because the governance of a community of people within that space can enact laws with repercussions within that space. And perhaps that example sums it up. Avatars are not people, they are not really much of anything other than a sequence of electrical impulses and magnetic fields, and even then only by a system of assignment, and so cannot be governed as avatars. Because of this, there can be no cyberspace in this sense.
Image

iTunes Prohibits Terrorism 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the great-songs-come-with-great-responsibility dept.
Afforess writes "A recent closer look at the oft-skimmed EULA agreement for iTunes has an interesting paragraph in it, Gizmodo reports. 'You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.' Although humorous, some readers suggested that this may be a defense measure to previously discussed price changes in the iTunes music store."
PC Games (Games)

Does Professional Gaming Have a Future? 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the fatal-one-thank-you dept.
mr_sifter writes "Three years ago, celebrity gamers such as Fatal1ty were bagging millions in prizes, and TV channels were queuing up to broadcast games on TV. Professional gaming looked set for the big time. It never happened, and in the current economic crisis, sponsors and media organizations are cutting costs, resulting in the closure of many pro gaming competitions (as we recently discussed) and a down-scaling in prize money. This feature looks at whether pro gaming can bounce back, and whether it will always be a PC sport, or if pro gaming on consoles is the future."
Space

STEREO Spacecraft To Explore Earth's L4 and L5 66

Posted by kdawson
from the home-home-on-lagrange dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Launched on October 25, 2006, NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft are about to enter the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points, special points in our orbit around which spacecraft and other objects can loiter because the gravitational pull of earth and the sun balances the forces from the object's orbital motion. (The spacecraft won't linger at the Lagrangian points; they are just passing through.) 'These places may hold small asteroids, which could be leftovers from a Mars-sized planet that formed billions of years ago,' said NASA Project Scientist Michael Kaiser. STEREO will look for asteroids with a wide-field-of-view telescope. 'If we discover the asteroids have the same composition as the Earth and moon, it will support Belbruno and Gott's version of the giant impact theory. The asteroids themselves could well be left-over from the formation of the solar system.' L4 and L5 are also good places to observe space weather. 'With both the sun and Earth in view, we could track solar storms and watch them evolve as they move toward Earth. Also, since we could see sides of the sun not visible from Earth, we would have a few days warning before stormy regions on the solar surface rotate to become directed at Earth,' says Kaiser."
Programming

+ - Collaborative Academic Writing?

Submitted by Thomas M Hughes
Thomas M Hughes (463951) writes "Despite its learning curve, LaTeX is pretty much the standard in academic writing. By abstracting out the substance from the content, it becomes possible to focus heavily on the writing, and then deal with formatting later. However, LaTeX is starting to show it's age, specifically when it comes to collaborative work. One solution to this is to simply pair up LaTeX with version control software (such as Subversion) to allow multiple collaborators to work on the same document at one time. But adding subversion to the mix only seems to increase the learning curve. Is there a way to combine the power of LaTeX with the power of Subversion without scaring off a non-technical writer? The closest I can approximate would be to have something like Lyx (to hide the learning curve of LaTeX) with integrated svn (to hide the learning curve of svn). However, this doesn't seem available. Google Docs is popular right now, but Docs has no support for LaTeX, citation management, or anything remotely resembling decent formatting options. Are there other choices out there?"
Internet Explorer

+ - Online addict dies after 7 day marathon session

Submitted by
watomb
watomb writes ""BEIJING: An obese 26-year-old man in northeastern China died after a "marathon" online gaming session over the Lunar New Year holiday, state media said on Wednesday.

The 150-kg man from Jinzhou, in Liaoning province, collapsed on Saturday, the last day of the holiday, after spending "almost all" of the seven-day break playing online games, the China Daily said, citing his parents."
http://www.ciol.com/content/search/showarticle1.as p?artid=94845"
The Internet

+ - Wikipedia bureaucrat with bogus PhD

Submitted by keyero
keyero (1069796) writes "The New Yorker has posted an Editor's note, correcting for a story they published in July about Wikipedia and expertise. In the article, they quoted User:Essjay who is a a bureaucrat, arbitrator, and other roles including checkuser. He was described as "a tenured professor of religion at a private university" with "a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law." Turns out, he is twenty-four and holds no advanced degrees, and that he has never taught. Nonetheless, Jimmy Wales has brushed this aside and recently appointed Essjay to the Arbitration committee. He also hired Essjay to serve as "Community Manager" on Wikia."

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