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User Journal

Journal: The demographic 'threat'

Journal by fustakrakich

Media polls indicate Americans are becoming less religious. Unfortunately these numbers aren't reflected in the vote. So I really can't believe them until I see a significant change in congress. It would be interesting to see a new 'enlightenment' wash over the planet in my lifetime. Here's to hope!

User Journal

Journal: Web Dev on the Mac 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

I've been working on a little side project. I would like to have an app where people can read updates that I send out. It seemed like a fun way to learn more about programming mobile apps and it's something I could actually use if I can get it to a decent state.
I'm keeping it simple. I decided the app would just be an rss feed reader. And that meant I need a feed. I want it to be very specific to my app so I decided the way to go would be to just create my own back end for creating the feed. I decided to use php and I wrote a simple set up using the codeigniter framework. That gave me a quick way to set up authorization and it was easy to tie in styling from bootstrap so that things can look decent without any effort.
I've been doing all the work at my office, on my desktop running Fedora. I have two nice big lcd monitors and developing on Linux is just so easy. I had the environment up and running in no time.
Then this week my son got sick. Nothing serious - but enough for him to stay home from school for a few days. I worked from home to keep an eye on him. I've been putting off getting my Macbook set up to do this kind of stuff but now I really needed to tackle it. Ugh - what a pain. The machine itself has grown on me. The hardware is decent and works pretty well. The software isn't horrible. But oh my word - when I want to do anything 'out of the ordinary' and by that I mean any kind of meaningful work with the system, it is pretty bad. I know lots of professional developers use Macs but I'm stunned at what a pain it is to do things that are trivially easy in Linux.
Getting Mysql installed and running with Apache was a lot more work. Getting PHP working the way I want took more time than it ever has before. Things are far from ideal even now, but I've got it to a point where it works.
And now I have my code in 3 places. So I'll be using github to keep code in sync between them. It's a little more of a challenge because I have the production environment set up a little differently than the dev environment. But not so differently that it is a huge deal. I have ssh access to my hosting environment (Bluehost) so that makes it pretty easy. - Oh and that is the one thing that saves the mac - having bash. If it didn't I'd have given up on it long ago.

User Journal

Journal: Lollipop as bad as I feared

Journal by BarbaraHudson

When I looked at the development docs for Lollipop, my reaction to their "material design" was "this is going to be a problem." After updating to it and playing around for 15 minutes, I'm not impressed.

Simplifying stuff too much doesn't make it easier to tell what something does. The bottom icons, for example, are now a triangle, a circle, and a square. It's even harder visually to tell if a toggle is on or off. The phone app has been downgraded again in terms of screen real estate, showing even fewer speed dial entries w/o scrolling, and they really need to check their spelling.The tabs are "SPEED DIAL | RECENTS | CONTACTS" Come on, "recent" is an adjective. It modifies the noun, which can be singular or plural. You wouldn't write "RECENTS CALL", would you?

The low contrast between text and backgrounds might be "stylish", but good design would have form follow function. Making stuff harder to read, even with huge fonts? Don't do me no favors, mkay. And the on-screen keyboard ... yuck.

Some horizontal tabs are now partially off-screen. so unless you knew what they were before the update, you'll have to guess. Switching from Dalvik to ART (Android RunTime) was an option in Kitkat 4.4.4. Now it's not just the default - there is no option to go back to Dalvik as the runtime.

Is it faster? Not that I can tell. Going from the lock screen to whatever app was last opened is definitely slower - probably because of the fancy-pants wipe with an arc in it. It's not all negative, though. Maps now has moved the Directions and Explore buttons to the map itself rather than having to go through a menu.

But their "Material Design" doesn't bring anything materially better to the table.


Journal: This Town Deserves A Better Class of Troll

Journal by damn_registrars
It's rather sad that this is the best we have now. Granted, the other guy could dramatically improve his act by following all his comments with fart jokes, but the better act sucks too. Comparing these two is somewhat like comparing the kid who calls a random number on the phone and asks about their refrigerator to the kid who calls numbers he knows and recites Bart Simpson prank calls.
User Journal

Journal: Welcome back, SlashPot (thank you failure machine samzenpus) 37

Journal by damn_registrars
I guess "failure machine" samzenpus really will post anything.

Now, before the Pro Pot Propaganda Pushers here start calling me a fascist, let me point out where my criticism is. This is about how samzenpus failed to even approach a useful summary of the article that the summary linked to - which I will point out is freely available to everyone. In particular, because failure machine couldn't be bothered to read the article, he missed:

Nevertheless, as previously stressed, our findings should not be interpreted that moderate alcohol consumption poses a higher risk to an individual and their close contacts than regular heroin use14. Much of the harm from drug use is not inherently related to consumption, but is heavily influenced by the environmental conditions of the drug use2, and this additional hazard is not included in a drug ranking based on (animal) toxicology.

The first major problem of the approach is the lack of toxicological dose-response data for all compounds except alcohol and tobacco. No human dose-response data are available; also no dose-response data in animals, only LD50 values are published. Furthermore, no chronic-toxicity data (long-term experiments) are available, which are usually used for such kinds of risk assessment. Therefore, we can assess only in regards to mortality but not carcinogenicity or other long-term effects. The absence of such data is specifically relevant for compounds with low acute toxicity (such as cannabis), the risk of which may therefore be underestimated.

In other words, the study was looking to see how much of a substance was required to kill you immediately. They mentioned very few substances have known limits for that. They also went on to mention that cannabis in particular is not studied much from a toxicology standpoint when compared to other drugs:

The second major problem is the uncertainty in data about individual and population-wide exposure due to the illegal markets. There is a scarcity of epidemiological studies of cannabis use by comparison with epidemiological studies of alcohol and tobacco use

Indeed, I agree with their closing remark:

Currently, the MOE results point to risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs. The high MOE values of cannabis, which are in a low-risk range, suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.

Not that the propagandists here on slashdot would bother to read that far.

User Journal

Journal: Revolution 60: A game review I can get behind. 1

Journal by BarbaraHudson
This review of Revolution 60 sounds like it was written by me. But I can assure you, it's not. Exerpts:

an insipid, stumbling, humorless mess of a game that should never have left the brainstorming stage - the kind of game social justice warriors insist everyone wants to see, but in reality, the reaction seems to be put that thing back where it came from or so help me.


the problems start with our main characters. You play as Holiday, an assassin in a painted-on catsuit who rides a motorcycle and has no personality other than the current demands of the plot. The rest of her team consists of a handful of one-dimensional TV Tropes personalities shoved into the shells of life-sized, dead-eyed Polly Pocket dolls whose only purpose seems to be to give Holiday something to do other than be Generic Badass #624.

on the crappy graphics

Iâ(TM)ve seen some pretty shitty graphics in my time gaming, and that includes the old PS1 games where Cloud Strifeâ(TM)s hands looked like muffins and Lara Croftâ(TM)s boobs could slice butter in July. Thatâ(TM)s shitty by todayâ(TM)s standards, but back then, we didnâ(TM)t know any better! Wu had 4 years and a $500,000 budget to make a game. Unless she was making it for the PS1, thereâ(TM)s no excuse for this.

the sexist stereotypes of women

So, what does our strong female protagonist look like? Surely sheâ(TM)s not in any way oversexualized or drawn in a way that makes her look like an alien had a one night stand with a Blood Elf â" AAAAAAAAAH!. This shit looks like some creep from Second Life just figured out how to use the morphing tool.

âoeDiversity and female empowerment!â cries Miss Wu as she aggressively designs a group of expressionless, hourglass-shaped white girls with less personality than the cockroach from Wall-E. For a game designer whoâ(TM)s all about making a game thatâ(TM)s supposed to be eliminating hypersexuality and glorifying/representing women in a mature way, Wu seems a little too comfortable putting her military soldiers into skin-tight, formfitting outfits with no armor and laughably short skirts/pants. They all have the same skin color and hourglass shape with ample boobs, long legs, perfect hair, and perpetual duckface.

So, tell us how you REALLY feel ...

Revolution 60 is offensive â" and the worst part is that it was created to have the opposite effect. It offends me as a gamer that someone would think that this sort of crap would fly just because an all-woman team made it, and it offends me as a woman because Iâ(TM)m here to play games, not to be pandered to. And Iâ(TM)m sure as fuck not going to identify with a game meant to represent my gender when the characters have about as much personality as a piece of styrofoam. My verdict? Complete and utter shit.

There's more - about the crappy game play, the crappy voice acting, the crappy enemies, the crappy "world" ... you get the picture :-)

User Journal

Journal: Might explain some of the behavior here 23

Journal by smitty_one_each

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

This has a ring of truth to it with respect to Slashdot. I've been on the receiving end of repeated accusations used like bludgeons to the point there are some people on here to whom I just ain't got jack to say beyond: "Lord bless your heart".
Which is not to whine about it. This is Slashdot; let the incontinent go elsewhere.
Rather, I'm yawning.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.