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Comment: Re:Scandinavians (Score 1) 53

by jandersen (#49170151) Attached to: Doomsday Vault: First Tree Samples Arrive At Underground Seed Store

Here again, the Scandinavians prove they are the most superior culture on the planet

As a Dane, I can confirm this in full; also, we are tall, blond, honest and noble.

However, we are not the only ones to have a seed bank - Wikipedia lists 5 major facilities: The millennium Seed Bank in UK, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the Australian PlantBank, the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry and National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in the US, as well as several smaller ones in India.

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) 220

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) 220

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) 220

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) 220

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) 220

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.

Comment: Re:Should come with its own football team (Score 1) 102

You're confusing cause with effect. Programmer wages aren't high in the Silicon Valley because of having a lot of programmers. There are a lot of programmers because the wages are so high that CS majors come here in droves after college.

The reason the wages are so high here is because of basic supply and demand at work. Silicon Valley has only about a 3.6% unemployment rate among programmers, and a lot of the unemployed either want to be unemployed or are unemployed because their specific skills aren't in high demand. Programmers may be common in the Silicon Valley, but the demand in the Silicon Valley far exceeds the number of qualified programmers who are available and looking for jobs. Thus, the entire market is a zero-sum game, and the high wages are a result of the need to buy people away from other companies.

As a result, any sudden increase in the number of programmers drives down salaries for new hires, and fairly dramatically at that. For proof, you need only look at what happened to programmer salaries outside the Bay Area during the dot-com crash, when droves of people suddenly were looking for more affordable places to live. In some areas, salaries for programmers dropped almost in half because of that exodus.

Is it realistic to believe that there will ever be enough programmers to satisfy the Silicon Valley's voracious appetite? Hard to say. But that's a separate question.

+ - Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database->

Submitted by SwampApe
SwampApe (2814551) writes "Uber has subpoenaed GitHub to unmask netizens suspected of hacking its database of taxi drivers.

The ride-booking app maker is trying to force GitHub to hand over the IP addresses of anyone who visited a particular gist post between March and September last year.

That gist is believed to have contained a login key used by a hacker to access an internal Uber database of 50,000 drivers. Github refused to hand over the information, leading to Friday's subpoena filing."

Link to Original Source

+ - Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials for "improper influence"

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the Oracle Corporation has filed a rather timely suit against five of former governor John Kitzhaber's staff for their "improper influence" in the decision to shutter the Cover Oregon healthcare website, while blaming Oracle to defuse the political consequences. Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April.

"The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn’t match the former-Governor's re-election strategy to 'go after' Oracle,” Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement.

Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain."

+ - 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

+ - NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The FISA court has again renewed an order allowing the NSA to continue its illegal bulk collection of Americans' phone records, at least until June 1 when it is set to expire in Congress. President Obama pledged to end the controversial program more than a year ago.

The extension is the fifth of its kind since Obama said he would effectively end the Snowden-exposed program as it currently exists during a major policy speech in January 2014. Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they will not act alone to end the program without Congress.

After all the other things he's done against or without congressional approval and he balks at this one?"

Link to Original Source

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.