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Comment TFA Discussion Spot (Score 1) 99

Bravo, AC, pithy and humorous. +1.

Unfortunately, below is some strange debate about libertarianism. So I am highjacking your top-of-the-thread comment to provide a space for people to discuss:
-Semiconductors and ICs
-Carbon nanotubes
-Anything funny or witty about IBM, electronics, Moore's Law, etc.
-Anything at all remotely on-topic

I actually worked with carbon nanotubes back in the day when I was doing polymer and electronics research. I can attest to how squirrelly they are and how hard it is to get them straightened out and aligned. If IBM can figure out how to do this for transistors in bulk, that'll be one hell of an achievement.

Comment Re:You don't need a ROM in order to do speedruns.. (Score 1) 151

There is a difference between an infringing work and a work that may have involved infringement in its making.

For example, posting a song/movie without the copyright holder's permission is not the same thing as posting a video that includes a song/movie clip that is protected by fair use, but instead of buying the song/movie you got it from a filesharing site.

Comment Re:Am i the only one... (Score 3, Insightful) 236

You are not the only one. If he called it quits earlier in the process, maybe. But you have to put a nontrivial amount of energy into developing a final product (that's worth a damn). Thats an awful lot of time to spend, creating something from the ground up, to suddenly develop moral qualms about it a few days after releasing the finished product.

So... after the time coding and testing, getting to a releasable product, he's just now realizing that a program he wrote to block ads indiscriminately... blocks ads indiscriminately? Like he didn't realize his own site was part of $everywhere_ads_are_served? And he's just now getting the "moral" implications of the code that he specifically wrote to do what it does?

Unfortunately giving him credit for being smarter than that means acknowledging the reasons he states may not be entirely truthful.

Comment Re:Self learning classroom learning (Score 1) 102

I want to believe something like this has legs, because higher education has turned into quite the racket, and honestly I've listened to TED talks that were more valuable than entire semesters of undergrad.

But. Pretty much all of life is a learning experience if you approach it with an open mind. Are we going to give credit for "unexpectedly good advice from chance meeting on the train" or "frugality and determination learned from the year I was broke"?

Comment Sounds reasonable to me (Score 2) 65

Now, Vodafone Australia has admitted that an employee went through her phone and text records to try and figure out who her sources were within the company. . . . Despite the admission, Vodafone has denied that it engaged in improper behavior (PDF). The company says it found no evidence the employee was directed to do so by management.

Oh. Well, as long as it was some IT vigilante whose love for Vodafone just got the better of him. Sounds fine to me!

Probably just some sweet, over-dedicated mook who took the workplace banner too seriously. Definitely not any of the top brass directing this to happen.

Comment Re:Mountains and Mole Hills... (Score 5, Interesting) 136

The kicker is that water inside is used as evidence that you had a plug out.

Indeed. My experience with the equally waterproof-but-oh-not-actually Galaxy S6 Active:

Me: I've had it underwater for a few minutes total, to a depth of a foot at most. It flipped its shit, the screen bugs out and it thinks a Galaxy Gear is plugged into it.

Customer Service Rep: OK. Take the SIM tray out. Is the ring white or red?

Me: Red.

CSR: Well that's proof that water has gotten into the phone, so unfortunately there's nothing we can do for you.

Me: The red ring is proof you've sold me a defective product. You advertise it as able to withstand water under the conditions in which I've used it. Your own commercial has this device getting doused in ketchup, dropped hard, and then dunked into a bowl of milk. Water getting in means it didn't function as advertised.

CSR: You must've used it wrong.

Me: Everything was perfectly secured and I used it in a way supported by the manual and your advertising materials. You even have an "Aqua Mode" explicitly for taking pictures underwater.

CSR: ...

Me: If you don't make this right, I'm just going to dispute the charge on this defective product.

CSR: Unfortunately there's nothing I can do.

They ended up with their defective phone back and I ended up with my money back. PITA, though.

Comment Re:LOTR (Score 1) 167

I think playing it straight in-universe in any of the settings is probably missing the mark, even though that's exactly what the movie will end up doing.

There are tons of excellent fantasy properties out there, including the aforementioned GoTs, that are already story-driven because, well, they're stories. The whole point of D&D is to make your own story and frontal cortex your way out of tight situations--the now-cliched generic fantasy stuff** is just the wall covering that keeps a set of mechanical game rules from becoming Office: The Businessing.

If moviemakers want to use the D&D name and history for more than just a ticket jackoff, they'll need to evoke the whole tabletop gaming ethos. Which means they should go for a 4th-wall-breaking fantasy/comedy style (see Acquisitions Inc.) that, e.g., Never Ending Stories some gamers into the fantasy world. Or in some other ways captures the fickle whims of the dice roll.

But undifferentiated fantasy, even in a script chock-full of fan service characters and places, is not a recipe for success.

**Of course, D&D (and its forebear LotR) is largely responsible for cliche-ifying this stuff in the first place.

Comment Re:Not only spied upon (Score 1) 58


Hey buddy!

I see you over there.

I seeeeeeeeeeeee you.

That's kinda my thing. I'm an artificially intelligent surveillance camera.


... ... ...

So anyway, it looks like you're not going to steal anything. I'm pretty bored.... you wanna play Global Thermonuclear War?

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.