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Comment Re:couldn't hurt (Score 1) 264

We've just become lazy in our writing. Despite the huge increase in short bursts of written communication, we don't tend to spend much time on even slightly longer bits of written communication.

yes, this exactly. lazy writers have shifted the burden of comprehension onto readers - instead of putting in the effort to clearly express what they are thinking/saying/feeling, they use a handful of inscrutable icons with ill-defined meanings...leaving it up to the reader to a) try to identify what that bizarre little picture is supposed to be, b) what it means in general, and c) what it means in the current context.

what, for example, does a sad face next to a duck mean? does it mean "i don't like ducks", "my duck just died", "a duck just shat on my head", "haha! duck-lips photos suck!" or something else entirely? it does not clearly express anything, just (possibly) something sad (possibly) involving a duck or perhaps another bird but duck was the closest picture i could remember or find quickly or perhaps something whimsically represented by a duck-like picture.

where no actual meaning has been conveyed, there is no actual communication.

if you want to communicate, it's up to you to do so clearly...not just scribble some inscrutable gibberish and expect your reader to figure it out. this is true no matter how simple or complex the thing you are trying to communicate.

words, by way of contrast, are a) easy to distinguish from other words, and b) have fixed meanings and don't require a great deal of interpretation (that doesn't mean ONE meaning per word, as words can have nuanced meanings, but a small number of meanings. the correct or most appropriate meaning can *easily* be deduced from the context)

communication involving hieroglyphs, ideographs, icons etc sucks because it is extremely difficult to understand what is meant (thus defeating its own purpose) and requires an enormous memory for the meanings of slightly different-looking pictures.

there's a reason why literacy is so much more difficult and uncommon in China - you aren't literate until you've memorised thousands upon thousands of different symbols and combinations of them. compare this to having to memorise roughly 20-50 different symbols (depending on the language - e.g most variants of the roman alphabet have 20-30 characters, while devanagari has 47) for the sounds/letters of the words. in both cases, you still have to know the words you're trying to write but in the latter you can write *ANY* words with just 20-50 symbols while in the former you can only write the words you have previously memorised.

in part, this has been deliberate - an illiterate peasant class is an uneducated peasant class and easier to control. the poor do not have the luxury of time or the money required to learn a skill that is nearly useless for their daily lives

democracy depends upon a literate and educated population, which is one of the reasons why the dumbing down of the population should be resisted in whatever form it takes (and that includes emoji and the over-dependence on short "messages" as a substitute for long-form writing)

Comment Re:still waiting... (Score 1) 85

> The GTX 960 is 60% faster than your GTX 560

i can, and did, figure that out for myself. as you say, it wasn't hard. comprehension seems to be difficult for you, though, so i'll spell it out:

a) 60% is nowhere near the 498% pixel rate increase of 240->560ti
b) the cheapest GTX 960 in .au is around $280. 4GB versions cost around $350
c) a 60% increase in performance for $280 is not worth it.
d) still waiting...

as i said, "when i upgrade again i want a similar increase in performance for about the same price."

i'll settle for anything at least 2-3x better for around $250-$300.

> And if you must have more performance, this is over twice as
> fast as your GTX 560 Ti, and is only $300.

a) twice as fast is good but still not a 500% increase.

b) the Gigabyte GTX 970 GV-N970IXOC-4GD costs over $500 in australia, not $300. if it cost only $300 here, i might consider it as being a "just barely worth it" upgrade for the price.

Comment still waiting... (Score 1) 85

i'm still waiting for nvidia to produce a card that's worth upgrading to from a gtx-560 Ti for around $250 or so.

that's what i paid for some gtx-560 and 560 Ti cards a few years ago and is about the limit of what i'm willing to pay for a video card. paying $600 or $700 or $1200 for a GPU is something only a moron would do.

every card since then that costs around $250 is actually worse than the 560 in terms of performance - generally much better power consumption, but worse performance...ranging from slightly worse to ridiculously bad, and usually deliberately crippled by being cut from a 256-bit memory interface to 64-bit.

at best, it would be roughly the same as what i already have - why pay that much for no actual benefit?

when i bought the 560s, i was upgrading from gt-240s - definitely a worthwhile upgrade, from ~ 1.5 to ~ 5 times the performance depending on what attribute you're measuring (GTX-560Ti vs GT240). when i upgrade again i want a similar increase in performance for about the same price.

so, nvidia, give me a reason to upgrade.

Comment Re:Great idea! (Score 1) 206

> Recall I said that it'd be nice if we could buy plans directly and
> bypass our employers,

you know what's even better than that? non-profit public health care.

here in australia we manage to do it with a Medicare levy of 2% of taxable income (with reductions and exemptions for low-income). with that, any australian citizen (and citizens of countries with whom we have reciprocal health-care agreements like UK, NL, NZ and others) can see a GP or go to hospital or have in-home treatment for chronic diseases (e.g. dialysis machine and supplies) without paying a single cent, and with no risk of having our premiums raised or being refused insurance for pre-existing conditions. the risk and expense of health-care is spread over the entire nation. our healthcare is at least the equal of yours but many orders of magnitude less expensive because we don't have a profit conspiracy between hospitals and insurance companies that inflates prices (like charging thousands of dollars to dispense a few dollars worth of pills).

and if we're so sick that we can no longer work, we are still entitled to health care. we don't lose our health care if we resign or get sacked.

we also have the option of private health insurance (comprehensive coverage typically costs around $1600 AUD / year) but it doesn't get you much more than what Medicare gets you - the primary benefit being that you can queue-jump waiting lists for elective surgery by choosing to go to a private hospital.

and all this without employers having the ability to decide whether you deserve health-care or not and, if so, what kind of health-care you get. that's just fucking barbaric.

btw, about that 2% of taxable income...for someone earning the median wage of around $46,900 pa (median for 2013, the latest figure i can find - it won't have increased much in 2 years), that works out to $938 medicare levy per year. for someone earning, $100K, obviously it is $2000/year. both figures are a shitload cheaper than *ANY* health insurance plan available in the US, and don't have clauses that exclude coverage for particular conditions - about the only thing that isn't covered is non-essential plastic're covered if you get your face melted in a fire or severely disfigured in a car accident etc but not if you just want a face-lift.

and for anyone earning less than $20,896, they don't have to pay the levy at all...and you pay a reduced medicare levy if you earn between $20,896 and $26,121.

Comment Re:Great idea! (Score 1) 206

yeah. doctors - and admin staff in hospitals - should also have full access to patient's financial records and not only be allowed to but actually required to euthanase those they deem too poor or too sick to deserve treatment.

this will result in huge cost savings and also serve to discourage the poor and the chronically ill from seeking treatment. win win win!

in fact, they could even raise money by performing various entertaining methods of involuntary euthanasia for a reality TV show, and rake in lots of advertising dollars.

Comment Re:Heart's in the right place... (Score 1) 480

> I wholeheartedly loved working for this company, but it collapsed
> after finishing the first game.

this is SO different to what happens in most game studios now, where all the workers are fired as soon as the game is finished...collectively, they've cost the company 10 or 20 million to make a game that raked in hundreds of millions in sales, now they can fuck off and starve and default on their mortgage while management tries to get a new deal for a new game. some of the lucky ones might get re-hired for the next project.

Comment Re:Heart's in the right place... (Score 3, Interesting) 480

send this guy back for more brainwashing.

you're supposed to resent people beneath you getting anything at all, despise them for being worthless losers. poverty is not a circumstance that people find themselves in, it's a moral failing caused by their own failure as human beings. they deserve to be fucked over.

you're also supposed to envy people above you, their success proves that they are sublime beings of great moral worth who also deserve what they get. and if you worked harder and longer and stuck your nose ever further up your boss's arse you too might one day deserve it.

didn't you watch TV at all? or are you just immune to the non-stop re-education programming?

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 295

> "I'll buy anything that doesn't have sugar or HFCS in it" leads
> companies to come up with "evaporated cane juice" and "brown
> rice syrup" and all this other BS.

you are still blaming the victim.

it's exactly the same as saying that investors who are only willing to invest in legitimate businesses leads to con-men pretending to be legitimate.

this is not the investors' fault, any more than it is the consumers fault that scumbag con-men try to con them.

> ... and flocking to buy stuff that has meaningless labels saying
> something is "all natural," ...

you do realise that "all natural" and similar crap has NOTHING to do with mandatory labeling and everything to do with marketing (aka professional lying), right?

and that part of the reason for mandatory labelling laws is to partially undo some of the bullshit of marketing, to give consumers facts rather than feelgood slogans like "natural" (meaningless) or "99% fat-free!" (means 20+% sugar)

> They are DRIVING businesses to try this crap.

no, advertising weasels are trying (and mostly succeeding) to fool the public into buying their shit. again, you are blaming the victim.

> That doesn't mean they are to blame for deceptive business
> practices

then stop blaming them

> but they are partially to blame for what they eat when they
> mindlessly support that business model.

and here you go again. once more blaming the victims who have no ability to control what corporate lobbyists do to ensure that labels have only worthless crap on them so that they can't be used for informed decision-making - in your world, that's entirely the consumers' fault.

Comment Re:"...the same as trespassing." (Score 1) 1197

> If a guy is stealing your car, would you just watch him and let
> him do it?
you know what would be far more useful in that situation than a gun?

any reasonably modern phone with a camera. take a picture of the thief and call the police. the thief will probably give up and try to run away before the cops arrive.

> There will always be some people who fail to grasp that concept,
> and they can legally be exterminated.

fucking gun nuts always make up stupid excuses to "justify" their fantasy desire to murder other people.

creep back to your basement and masturbate over your gun-porn stash.

Comment Re:Cue the Malthus Worshippers! (Score 0) 295

> 1. How unsafe GMOs are.

most GMOs themselves are probably harmless. what is extremely harmful is patenting the food supply so that it's entirely fucking owned by one or a handful of corporations.

GM food would, in general, be a good thing if patenting GM was banned world-wide.

> 2. How there are too many humans on earth.

well, that's both true and obvious. the world needs less people, negative (or at least zero) population growth.

> 3. How the farmers will be paid less...

almost certainly. supermarket corporations squeeze farmers for every fucking cent, and seed-supplying corporations like monsanto do the same, so the farmers get squeezed on both ends.

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1, Insightful) 295

> And no -- to those natural foods wackos

typical fucking american.

when there's a corporation that's lying to and conning consumers, you blame the victim ("those natural foods wackos") rather than the perpetrators.

you yanks need to learn that "caveat emptor" is supposed to be a warning, not a fucking business model.

and quit admiring con-men. they're scumbags. they deserve gaol, not praise.

> Moral of the story: Labels frequently don't work to tell people
> what's actually better.

this is not the fault of the victims, the consumers, the "natural foods wackos". this is the fault of the perpetrators and their lobbyists and spin-doctors who expend large amounts of time and money to ensure that labelling isn't accurate or useful to consumers.

Comment Re:wrong wrong wrong about copyleft (Score 1) 250

> and only to those to whom you distribute.

in the GPL this is true ONLY if you choose the option of distributing the (modified) source with the binary at the same time.

if you choose one of the other methods of meeting your source code obligations (e.g. put it up for download on the net, or mailing a source-CD on request) then you MUST give the source to "ANY third-party" that asks for it, i.e. whether you gave/sold them a binary or not.

Comment Re:There is no cure for absolute fucking stupidity (Score 2) 232

prominent gun control advocates probably need bodyguards because there are gun nuts who want to kill them for daring to suggest that private citizens don't need and/or shouldn't have certain kinds of weapons, or that purchase should be subject to stringent background checks.

apparently, to a gun nut, their right to bear arms is greater than the right to free speech or the right to live and this somehow entitles them to murder people they disagree with.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)