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Comment: Re:Did South-Africa ... (Score 2, Insightful) 351

by bikehorn (#37434266) Attached to: Israel To Join CERN As First Non-European Member
The point of BDS is not to demonise the average Israeli(like you seem to believe) but to make Israeli citizens realise that it is the fault of the government which THEY ELECTED AND SUPPORTED that they are being shut out by the rest of the world. It is intended to remind them, peacefully, that they have the power to change this by electing a government whose policies do not violate international laws. If that means their scientists are blocked from participating in international projects due to BDS then it is upon the scientists, as some of their society's more educated members, to articulately protest to their government to alter its policies. Do you believe there is a better solution that regular citizens in the rest of the world could employ?
AMD

Game Devs Only Use PhysX For the Money, Says AMD 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the dem's-fightin'-woids dept.
arcticstoat writes "AMD has just aimed a shot at Nvidia's PhysX technology, saying that most game developers only implement GPU-accelerated PhysX for the money. AMD's Richard Huddy explained that 'Nvidia creates a marketing deal with a title, and then as part of that marketing deal, they have the right to go in and implement PhysX in the game.' However, he adds that 'the problem with that is obviously that the game developer doesn't actually want it. They're not doing it because they want it; they're doing it because they're paid to do it. So we have a rather artificial situation at the moment where you see PhysX in games, but it isn't because the game developer wants it in there.' AMD is pushing open standards such as OpenCL and DirectCompute as alternatives to PhysX, as these APIs can run on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs. AMD also announced today that it will be giving away free versions of Pixelux's DMM2 physics engine, which now includes Bullet Physics, to some game developers."

Comment: Re:How to get management to listen (Score 1) 633

by bikehorn (#30875678) Attached to: Rockstar Employees Badly Overworked, Say Wives
My experience with unions is a positive one. I am an electrician and a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). I'm not crazy about everything unions do, including my own, but when I became unionised I moved from a company that was abusive, disorganised and flat out too cheap to pay for MANDATORY safety gear...to a company that is organised, on top of their stuff, not abusive to their employees and staffed by COMPETENT people. Everyone I work with loves working here. I also get a great benefits package and the variety of work experience I am able to take in is huge plus the supplementary specialised training available to members doesn't really have an equivalent outside of the union. Also, no matter who I work for, I get paid the same rate.

One more thing, our company does not keep around any incompetent electricians who waste time and slack off "just because they are in the union". The union does not prevent us from sacking them if they legitimately suck ass. It's much like the non union world...If you are good, you will have a full time job even in a crap economy. If you are useless, you will be sent back to the union hall and you will sit there a very long time.

I think developers in companies like R* should become unionised. You guys who suggest that they "just quit" when their company pushes them too hard are probably right in theory but the reality is, I doubt there will be any mass quittings that "force the company to rethink their actions" and I doubt that conditions are going to improve industry-wide. So what is the long term solution to this problem outside of organising into a union? It will push the monetary cost of developing games up, but reduce the human cost. That or they will outsource. There is no perfect fix since management will not experience a magical paradigm shift in their labour philosophy. I'm all for solutions that don't involve unionising but, are there any that will really be effective?
Earth

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Posted by timothy
from the feed-it-pooh-pooh-undies dept.
Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

Comment: Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (Score 1) 313

by bikehorn (#30341626) Attached to: Iranian Crackdown Goes Global

although the Shia people are allowed into Sunni countries freely and without incident (roughly 100,000 enter Saudi Arabia annually to perform the Hajj to Mecca, without incident).

Wrong. In most so called "Islamic" countries(more accurately called "Sunni countries") particularly in the Middle East, Shias are persecuted by the government and by their "fellow muslims" among the public and even though Saudi Arabia allows Shias in for Hajj, aside from that, it is illegal under that country's law to practice Shia Islam. They may not open their own mosques. A person qho publicly declares his/her beliefs stands to become a victim of violence. Moreover, if one is a victim of a crime, it's not likely the police will help them. Saudi Arabia is a gigantic laughable clusterf*ck of a country and the main sponsor of terrorism in the world, but I don't see any warplanes going after targets in Riyadh. I wonder if oil's got anything to do with it...

Ever notice where most of those suicide bombs in Iraq go off? They're not random. They are blown up in Shia areas like Sadr City by Sunni extremists who want to drive a wedge between the two groups - also the Sunni extremists believe Shias to be "infidels" and that they will go to heaven for killing them. The same thing happens in rural Pakistan where Shias are 30% of the population. Sharia law is nice on a theoretical philosophical level but it's about time people realised humans are not capable of implementing it, and should just give up on trying. Instead, attempting to be good humans would be an idea. Shia Islam has a stronger concept of human rights than the UN does but, it's not like there are many people who really uphold that.

Comment: This is awesome and just what I need (Score 3, Interesting) 557

by bikehorn (#29818853) Attached to: Apple Blurs the Server Line With Mac Mini Server
At my work this would be just ideal. We are a medium sized electrical contracting company(I am an electrician, not an IT person and we don't have one on staff, but there is a company on retainer should anything go wrong) with about 65 people on the payroll. At our office/warehouse we have one server that sits in a mess of wires and a variety of workstations. All our computers are aging Win XP machines which are clunky, occupy space and electrically inefficient. The server handles email, file serving, backups and maybe the website...I don't know if we host it ourselves or have it hosted elsewhere. In a year or two we are going to be due for an upgrade and due to as the level of dissatisfaction with Simply Accounting increases I feel tempted to suggest switching our office entirely to Macs running MoneyWorks Gold. We would retain one Windows computer to run our estimating and bidding software, Accubid and BidWinner Plus.

This mini server would complete the picture and do it without requiring a server closet...which is good because we don't have the room for one. We don't need or want massive processing power...we want compactness, reliability and energy efficiency. Our server is mounted on the wall of a warehouse room where we store large quantities of wiring, tools and other supplies, and as we are short on space this would be very welcome. I imagine the reduced frustration would increase our productivity and make management a lot easier without needing to call up the IT company all the time. We install a lot of renewable energy equipment so energy consciousness in our own office is something we pay attention to. People who scoff at this thing simply don't work with or see applications where this would be a perfect drop-in solution. Apple is once again offering something that nobody else is capable of and I am glad they have paid attention to something a lot of people need but cannot otherwise find. At my company Linux is not even remotely an option, so fanboys can go pound sand.

Comment: Re:meal preferences (Score 1) 402

by bikehorn (#29352311) Attached to: What the DHS Knows About You

There's a passage in the Qur'an which stipulates that a muslim may impersonate the enemy in order to defeat him, to paraphrase horribly. Alcohol is fine, non-halal meat is fine, cutting your hair is fine, as long as you're doing it to defeat the West. Or so their organisers tell them.

Really? Citation please? Especially the part where it says it's alright to do it "to defeat the west" ?

Comment: Frankly, I think this is a loss for Canada. (Score 2, Interesting) 651

by bikehorn (#29305983) Attached to: Canadian Hate-Speech Law Violates Charter of Rights
None of you ignorant free-speech-hugging white boys have ever been on the receiving end of real racism. Oh sure maybe someone called you a few names in elementary school and you felt sad, then you went home and ate your unsalted mashed potatoes, cried into your pillow, and went back to being the ignorant majority for whom life is pretty easy, all told - and believed you had a "racism" experience and that "gee it wasn't so bad so why can't everyone else just STFU and let it slide?". Or worse, you get wound up about someone making a joke that white people can't dance - and in that situation all of a sudden it's racist. The problem is most of you guys might be well intentioned but are hopelessly clueless about what it's like to actually be a victim of this behaviour and in what way it hurts. This lack of insight makes you guys prone to believing it doesn't exist or isn't a problem. It does exist and it is always a problem. The reality is that it is the least humane behaviour and there is no honor or intellectual upshot to defending hate just because on paper it qualifies as free speech.

In Canada, we don't like morons who shoot their mouths off spewing racial epithets, and that's why we have laws to shut these people up. Yes, censorship! A bad word! It's not an inherently bad concept. We like it because it serves a purpose, which is not subjugation and silencing of the general public as the alarmists would have you believe. These laws don't get used on just anybody and frankly the government is too busy wasting money on General Motors...it doesn't have time to go around silencing anybody it doesn't like, so take off that ugly tinfoil hat. This is why Canada is a cultural quantum leap ahead of other western societies. Don't believe me? Travel. Oh but this kind of censorship's not in the Charter? Fuck that. The charter was written by a bunch of WASPs who had no inkling of what the country would become - i.e. sustained by hard-working immigrants while the existing population became, old, lethargic, unmotivated and allowed its birth rate to fall below 2 children per couple. Oh, and the "Canadian founding fathers" were racists too, living in a time when it was commonplace and acceptable. Today it is not, and if that means some 150 year old laws need amending, so be it. The government does need to meddle in people's affairs in this matter because quite obviously average people are just too ignorant or lazy to conduct themselves properly 100% of the time. Stop crying about "regulation this" and "communist" that. Don't like it? There's a country just to the south of us where you can say all the dumb crap you like, and possibly you will even inspire a crowd of inbred rednecks to consider you some kind of great thinker while you're at it. Take Alberta with you. You can write books and become the next Ann Coulter, the poster child for what defending "free speech" is all about. Idealistic "people should just do blah blah blah theoretical solution and then we won't need regulation" blather doesn't work. This is the real world, and real people are real dumb, and really need to be spoon-fed to be kept in line.

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