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Comment: Re:The Optimistic viewpoint hade a source (Score 1) 218

by mjwx (#49168681) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

Feel free to submit to a gentle, peaceful decapitation. Be sure to let us know how that works out for you.

I see what you did there.

Actually, decapitation historically was considered about the most humane and dignified means of execution there was. Commoners were hanged, royalty was decapitated. The guillotine was invented to make the process even more humane by making decapitation less likely to be botched.

Decapitation and hanging weren't always human forms. However as society progressed they learned that breaking the neck at the base of the spine was the least painful way to kill someone. Eventually they refined it that hanging would break the neck rather than strangle someone. Society went backwards when someone thought electrocution was a good idea but advanced when lethal injection became common and even further when we realised death penalties are abhorrent and ineffective.

Comment: Re:Zombie apocalypse universe rules (Score 1) 223

Brooks quickly discounts the effectiveness of military weapons like cluster munitions, Gatling guns and other kinds of weapons designed to put a large amount of shrapnel or projectiles into an area quickly. Even if it didn't result in killing of an entire horde, I would expect it to kill a large number and greatly reduce the threat of most of them by seriously degrading their mobility through damage to their ability to walk or move.

You're assuming that a zombie horde acts like a human enemy.

The enemy does not panic, does not fear and it's numbers are far in excess of of the survivors opposing it.

In World War Z, by the time the Battle of Yonkers occurs, New York was already zombiefied, so that's up to 14 million zombies with a conservative estimate still being several million. Further more, the enemy will not stop even if incapacitated they will continue on their hands and knee stumps. Further more, you have to be very accurate and the majority of our area effect weapons are designed to be indiscriminate and inaccurate.

Even though there's a chance they could kill hundreds, you're dealing with thousands of zombies per gun. This is why later in the books, a simple repeating rifle used with tactics designed to counter an enemy that could not fight at range but outnumbered you 100 to 1 was shown to be more effective than a gatling gun and airburst weapons.

The Battle of Yonkers was written to demonstrate the futility of human tactics against a non human enemy.

Comment: Re:Zombies versus Predators (Score 1) 223

Nevertheless, this is silly.

Humans are the most deadly predators that the planet has ever had. Killing stuff is what we're really really good at. Making weapons is something we're really really good at.

Zombies... their weapons are teeth and fingernails. Their tactics are go straight in and attack regardless of tactical situation.

They wouldn't have a chance.

The thing about zombies is not their tactics or weapons but their numbers and drive.

A human needs to sleep,
A human needs food and clean water,
A human needs ammunition,
A human is vulnerable to infection,

If you have one infected or even five infected, they can be dealt with easily using modern gear. However once their number reaches a critical mass, humans are instantly on the back foot. It doesn't matter if a survivor kills 20 zombies when there is 100 of them. Max Brooks' World War Z book does a good job of explaining how they reach these kind of numbers, mainly through panic, ignorance and occasionally greed. However compared to humans, zombies have several key strengths.

The zombie does not need rest,
The zombie does not feel fear,
The zombie will not despair,
The zombie will not give up,
The zombie can still operate with debilitating injuries,

Humanity's only reprieve is the zombie is not real :)

Comment: Re:Best idea is not to hide. (Score 1) 223

4) So please tell me how in the real world a single zombie can infect all the rest of us?

Stop thinking of it as a Zombie and start thinking of it as a highly infections, virulent disease spread by direct contact with bodily fluids and a 100% mortality rate.

Basically thats what they were moddelling, the Zombie angle just gets publicity (which is good as it draws attention to their research and gets backers).

This is less trying to track a Zombie horde over the US than trying to extrapolate if a hyper deadly mutation of Ebola somehow takes root in a populated area.

Comment: Re:seriously (Score 1) 223

Yes, traditional zombie-ism is modeled like a disease that is highly contagious, highly virulent, and requires direct contact to transmit. Truthfully, the prominent characteristic of zombie-ism is that the infected are easily distinguishable.

Traditional zombies are magically reanimated creatures (the origin of the word is from Haitian Voodoo lore) and the original Zombie movies from the 60's and 70's tended to follow this even if it implied and not indicated outright.

Viral and parasitic zombies are a new concept in cinema. Personally I prefer the biological explanation compared to a magical one as far as stories go (World War Z (book) and 28 Days Later even though it's technically not a zombie movie), but the original concept of the living dead was supernatural.

Comment: Re: Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 1) 223

Your warehouse might work, but a high rise tower would be a terrible position. You have to figure that the power grid would go down and emergency generators would soon be out of fuel, so no elevators. How many flights of stairs do you want to climb on a regular basis while carrying food, water and fuel?

Being in a tower with only a couple of escape routes also leaves you very vulnerable to human predators who will be looking to steal everything you have.

If I actually lived in such a place, I'd probably try to stay put during the mass exodus and the initial die-off, but I certainly wouldn't seek out a tall building as a permanent base of operations.

Its a trade off, stairwells are also very defensible positions. Especially when your enemy isn't nimble and has a small problem with staying balanced.

Obviously you wouldn't live on the top floor of a high rise, but the second or third floor is ideal. As for lugging up supplies, for that you'd need to put in a simple rope and pulley system. A limited number of escape routes is a feature, not a bug of security because it also means points of ingress for the horde are equally limited.

Ultimately what you want is an easily sealed building with few doors and no windows that is connected to a seal-able tunnel system that allows egress at multiple locations... I dont know of any such buildings in my city?

I live in Perth, Western Australia. One of the most isolated cities in the world, by the time the Zombie invasion gets here, it will have wiped out the United States, most of Europe, all of Asia and much of Africa. Whilst is may seem like a good idea to go bush that can kill you easily too as you run out of water in a land that is very hot and has very few fresh water sources that are reliable year round. Beyond this, if you think zombiefied humans are bad, wait until they get the Wombats. A Zombat would be nigh upon unstoppable.

Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1) 407

by mjwx (#49160823) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

if it 's bad for the companies to profit off a legal product, it's just as bad for the government to profit off it.

the biggest profiteer from cigarettes is the government.


Taxes from Tobacco sales doesn't even cover the medical costs of long term treatment of smokers in Australia, where tobacco taxes are high.

This is just medical costs, it doesn't include fires started by cigarette butts or costs that the government doesn't have to pay (such as cleaning a car or house after it's been occupied by a smoker) that have a net drain on the economy.

Comment: Re:news, why? (Score 1) 51

by mjwx (#49160769) Attached to: 42 Artificial Intelligences Are Going Head To Head In "Civilization V"

Civ V, a game historically known for its poor programming, rushed schedules and years of repair to get playable. This game still has one of the most artificially stupid AI's in the history of the Civ series, so I fail to see how this is even mildly interesting.

For the same reason people prefer to watch 42 meat heads wrestle each other for a ball rather than watch 42 of the brightest minds debate.

I dont mean the suppressed homoerotic desires either.

Given my experience with Civ V, they'll build about 2 cities each and never actually go to war, let alone attack. It will be a paint drying simulator. The incredibly stupid AI was what ultimately forced me back to Civ IV.

+ - 42 Artificial Intelligences Are Going Head to Head in 'Civilization V'

Submitted by rossgneumann
rossgneumann (3901661) writes "The r/Civ subreddit is currently hosting a fascinating "Battle Royale" in the strategy game Civilization V, pitting 42 of the game's built-in, computer-controlled players against each other for world domination. The match is being played on the largest Earth-shaped map the game is capable of, with both civilizations that were included in the retail version of the game and custom, player-created civilizations that were modded into it after release."

+ - Google Taking Over New TLDs->

Submitted by bobo the hobo
bobo the hobo (302407) writes "In the corner of the internet where people care about DNS, there is a bit of an uproar at Google's application for over a hundred new top-level domains, including .dev, .lol, .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. Their application includes statements such as:
By contrast, our application for the .blog TLD describes a new way of automatically linking new second level domains to blogs on our Blogger platform – this approach eliminates the need for any technical configuration on the part of the user and thus makes the domain name more user friendly.

And also limiting usage of .dev to Google only:
Second-level domain names within the proposed gTLD are intended for registration and use by Google only, and domain names under the new gTLD will not be available to the general public for purchase, sale, or registration. As such, Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct as Google is intended to be the sole registrar and registrant."

Link to Original Source

+ - We stopped at two nuclear bombs. We can stop at two degrees.->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Dawn Stover writes in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that climate change is irreversible but not unstoppable. She describes the changes that are happening already and also those likely to happen, and compares what is coming to the climate of the Pliocene: 'Even if countries reduce emissions enough to keep temperatures from rising much above the internationally agreed-upon “danger” threshold of 2 degrees Celsius (which seems increasingly unlikely), we can still look forward to conditions similar to those of the mid-Pliocene epoch of 3 million years ago. At that time, the continents were in much the same positions that they are today, carbon dioxide levels ranged between 350 and 400 ppm, the global average temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than it is today (but up to 20 degrees higher than today at the northernmost latitudes), the global sea level was about 25 meters higher, and most of today’s North American forests were grasslands and savanna.' Stover agrees with two scientists published in Nature Geoscience that 'Future warming is therefore driven by socio-economic inertia," and points the way toward changing a Pliocene future."
Link to Original Source

+ - BlackPhone, in wake of Gemalto fallout, receives $50 million in funding.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The BlackPhone, a $600-plus encrypted Android handset designed to keep the prying eyes of criminals and the government out of mobile communications, is now fully owned by Silent Circle thanks to the company raking in investment cash.

Terms of the buyout deal with Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone, the phone's hardware manufacturer, were not disclosed. Silent Circle said Thursday that it has raised $50 million and plans on showing off an encrypted "enterprise privacy ecosystem" at World Mobile Congress next week. A BlackPhone tablet is on the way, too."

Link to Original Source

+ - Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BBC News Reports

An unidentified attacker shot Mr Nemtsov four times in central Moscow, a source in the law enforcement bodies told Russia's Interfax news agency. He was shot near the Kremlin while walking with a woman, according to Russian-language news website Meduza. "Several people" had got out of a car and shot him, it added. Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under the late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, various sources report a massive gathering of protestors at the site of the shooting."

Backed up the system lately?