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Comment: Re:Ahh see they are being disingenuous (Score 1) 523

by bmgoau (#30554220) Attached to: Religion in Video Games

While not quite as sinister as your comment implies, Black and White is an excellent example of this and the topic in general.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_&_White_(video_game)

I agree with the parent, evangelism isn't fun in games unless it underpins a characters background or motivations. Diablo 1 and 2 are also good examples of religious mythology used well in games:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_(video_game)

Assasins Creed 1 and 2 are also good examples. I believe the non-deity of Jesus is touched very lightly at one point with a reference to Arthur C. Clarke's: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

These games show that religion's effect on our society can be used to produce a compelling narrative, often with a focus on its evil side. What I personally would hate is to be fed self righteous propaganda. Let us hope we never see "The Passion of Christ: The Game - only on PS3" let alone a 3D rendering of Mohammad (actually, i'd like to see a developer have the balls to go there).

Comment: Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (Score 3, Informative) 277

by bmgoau (#30333650) Attached to: New <em>Aliens Vs. Predator</em> Game Doesn't Make It Past AU Ratings Board

The parent is correct. As a fellow Australian I am just waiting for this guy to move on.

Someone wrote to him a couple of times before getting an extensive reply attempting to justify his position, consider reading it here [PDF]

http://bunnitude.com/misc/files/R18-Michael%20Atkinson.pdf

Quotes
"I think you will find this issue has little traction with my constituents who are more concerned with real life issues than home entertainment in imaginary worlds"
"I am concerned about the impact of this extreme content on children"
"It is true this restricts liberty, however I am prepared to accept this infringement"

It's basically a long winded version of "will someone please think of the children!"

Comment: Re:is the cost from portability/integration? (Score 1) 111

by bmgoau (#30053342) Attached to: Intel's New E-Reader For the Visually Impaired

The NYtimes did an interesting article on something similar to this, it was about the exorbitant cost of text to speech devices for the speaking impaired compared to simple consumer solutions like the iphone.

Heres the article, its quite interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/technology/15speech.html

Comment: Re:We will never colonize the moon (Score 1) 91

by bmgoau (#29700887) Attached to: NASA's LCROSS Moon Impact Mission Provides Great Data

Your post is very well researched and written but, after reading it a few times just to make sure, i think you were basing those calculations on the idea that we would communicate with the moon using a carbon nanotube/super conductor cable.

I have never heard that suggested before, i mean, we have stories about space elevators on slashdot all the time, but why would you think we would communicate with the moon using a cable?

Its movement relative to the earth would make this pretty much impossible. It also seems like an unnecessary waste of resources considered light is much faster.

Can you explain further? Why did you choose to communicate with the moon using a cable instead of microwave/radio?

Comment: Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (Score 3, Informative) 123

by bmgoau (#29616245) Attached to: 2009 Ig Nobels Awarded, For Gas-Mask Bras and More

Actually BBC News has the most in depth coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8285380.stm

The mathematics prize was interesting:
Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 712

by bmgoau (#29284579) Attached to: Has the Rate of Technical Progress Slowed?

Humanity has picked all the low hanging fruits of technology. Penicillin was discovered by accident exuding from a common mould. Radioactivity was discovered by observing phosphorescent rocks. Rockets were essentially an engineering problem. The elements of electricity were discovered by men using scientific instruments they could build themselves.

The rate of discovery has not necessarily slowed, but i contend that it has become more difficult to discover and propagate new things. The cost to fundamental discovery ratio has risen considerably. People are no less intelligent then they were 20,50, 100 years ago, but to find something new takes considerably more man hours and investment. Take the memristor for example, a recent discovery, just reading the course of its discovery will help anyone understand why we don't have flying cars, teleporters and intelligent robots: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor. The Genome project is another good example of the scale needed to make important discoveries nowadays. Just ask anyone in medical research "what's taking so long" and you'll immediately understand the scale of the problem.

There's also the cultural issues. The public is disinterested in science, roughly 50% of Americans don't believe in evolution, Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun!. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312115133.htm . There has also been a considerable shift since the 1970's away from basic research which is now seen as long term and unprofitable, when shareholders must have their profits now! http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/28/209220 http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/08/30/1512213/Where-Have-You-Gone-Bell-Labs?from=rss

But let us not repeat the mistakes of past generations. A English scientist, I forget the name, once said at the turn of the 20th century that everything that can been discovered has been discovered, and all that was needed now was simply to dot the i's and cross the t's. How wrong he was.

Lets also not be ignorant of the power of the technology we hold in our hands now. For a price a person can own a phone that can take an incredibly clear image, tag it with the exact location on earth where it was taken and send to anyone anywhere reasonable speaking. A MRI machine can take incredible images inside the body without a single cut. Many of us take what we have for granted. Some might remember: everything is amazing, nobody is happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXStPqhLmIk

The challenge now is propagation. Clean water, abundant food and shelter are still discoveries waiting to happen for a large portion of our species. Flying cars, e-ink newspapers and quantum computers are no concern to the child looking for food in a rubbish tip in Africa.

Still... many nerds hold onto hopes of a Singularity. Perhaps not to the scale many of its proponents imagine, but a AI may be able to deal with relationships and datasets that human brains simply cannot understand or have the patience for. Infact as slashdot covered earlier its already here: http://www.findmysoft.com/news/Artificial-Intelligence-Robot-Scientist-Adam/

Comment: Re:Computers? (Score 3, Insightful) 65

by bmgoau (#29240093) Attached to: A New Look At Brain Control

Not quite direct?

It's like trying to get water from one bucket to another, but instead of using a pipe, having to turn it into steam and use a tennis racquet to force it into its new bucket.

Think of all the unnecessary processing that goes into the hand and eye coordination for data entry into a computer, or for the opposite case: all the visual processing that brain needs to do to in order to recognise symbols on a screen, form words and subsequently string those into coherent thoughts. Its utterly and completely inefficient. The only reason we find it acceptable is because at the moment it's the best system we have.

If we could either directly interpret thoughts accurately or feed information into the brain (a task of incredible complexity) we could drastically speed up all sorts of information processing tasks.

Comment: Re:but but but.. (Score 2, Informative) 373

by bmgoau (#28864779) Attached to: Northern Sea Route Through Arctic Becomes a Reality

There is no question on whether it is man-made or just natural climate cycles. There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that it is a man made phenomenon.

I would direct you to the sources listed at the bottom of the wikipedia article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

Here is an interesting quote:
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century."
Source: http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf

Comment: Its also possible... (Score 3, Funny) 221

by bmgoau (#28525817) Attached to: Galactic Origin For 62M-Year Extinction Cycle?

Its also possible that my opening of a coke can will unsettle the quantum state of the water molecules vaporized in the air consequentially causing a pony to spontaneously appear. But as much as i wish it to be true, it aint going to happen (at least not for a really long time).

The whole point of the 65 million year cycle was not only the extinctions, but also the discover of elements in the ground only found as a result of asteroid impacts. Tha'ts why researches spend to much time trying to find a large mass that could disturb the Kuiper belt.

Comment: Re:List of Countries (Score 2, Interesting) 1359

by bmgoau (#28491669) Attached to: Emigrating To a Freer Country?

Why not stay in your own country and fight for those rights? Run as an independent for government. Organize resistance to the plans.

How about Australia or Canada?

I'm in Australia at the moment, broadband prices arn't amazing, and they're trying to implement a useless filter, but generally speaking the police are nice and we're universally known for hating our politicians (more then most countries).

Even if the government wanted to implement some scheme to restrict freedoms, it would mean they would have to actually go about doing some governmental work. That's something that rarely happens here. For example our *entire* government, including some state governments, spent the last two weeks trying to work out who made up some email about some car dealer.

We're also notoriously fickle when it comes to freedoms and politics. The public doesn't vote along party lines so much as they do for a lesser wanker (idiot).

Comment: Re:All about dates now. (Score 2, Interesting) 366

by bmgoau (#27854749) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil's Vision of the Singularity, In Movie Form

IAACE (I am a Computer Engineer). I agree transistors will not be old news in 20 years, but i think you're looking too broadly. I believe the idea that they will be old news relates to their use in (high performance) computing. It really was from about the 1980's till now, around 20-30 years, for computers to get *really* popular.

Photonic Computing is really in the stage where transistors were in the 60's and 70's. We already have proven concepts and a good idea of where to go so i don't see the statement "it's that transistors will be old news in 20 years; " so completely outrageous.

The only thing i know for certain, is that all our predictions will be wrong.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

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