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Comment previous art (Score 1) 187

What I offer here is an involved yet detached look at slashdot's casus belli. Perhaps time, further study, and more reflection will either modify or enrich the analysis offered here, but I shall return to this point in particular. Although not without overlap and simplification, I plan to identify three primary positions on slashdot's harangues. I acknowledge that I have not accounted for all possible viewpoints within the parameters of these three positions. Nevertheless, slashdot has been using all sorts of jiggery-pokery to convince people that mammonism is a sine qua non for mankind's happiness. That worldview may be appealing, at least to the worst types of unctuous schmucks I've ever seen, but it severely limits our national conversation on critical policy issues. Perhaps more painfully, slashdot will probably throw another hissy fit if we don't let it bamboozle people into believing that the future of the entire world rests in its hands. At least putting up with another slashdot hissy fit is easier than convincing slashdot's fans that I want to unify our community. Slashdot, in contrast, wants to drive divisive ideological wedges through it.

Slashdot's slaveys remain largely silent when asked about the correlative connecting slashdot to extremism. The rare times they do deign to comment they invariably skew the issue to prevent people from realizing that I have always been an independent thinker. I'm not influenced by popular trends, the media, or even so-called undisputed facts when parroted by others. Maybe that streak of independence is what first enabled me to see that slashdot has a talent for inventing fantasy worlds in which it never engages in primitive, petty, or effrontive politics. Then again, just because slashdot is a prolific fantasist doesn't mean that the health effects of secondhand smoke are negligible.

The worst kinds of tetchy rapscallions there are commonly succumb to slashdot's distortions, deceptions, and delusions. I do not. Rather, I take pride in dispensing justice. When slashdot was first found keeping us hypnotized so we don't review the basic issues at the root of the debate, I was scared. I was scared not only for my personal safety; I was scared for the people I love. And now that slashdot is planning to make life less pleasant for us, I'm undoubtedly downright terrified. I would like to end on a heartfelt note. I am aggrieved by slashdot's use of cameralism to play on people's irrational fears.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 756

consider this: everything you now imagine to be impossible (too far, too inefficient to work) are ideas that can be overcome by human imagination and science.

To sit there and decry ideas that seem far-fetched right now has been the purvey of many naysayers before you, most of whom we now regard as rather silly.

Comment Re:Headline misleading (Score 1) 437

[benefit of higher grade] - [cost of honestly achieving higher grade] > {[benefit of cheating] - [cost of cheating]} * [ risk of getting caught cheating] * [value of punishment for cheating].

Firstly, why are [benefit of higher grade] and [benefit of cheating] different variables? The benefit of cheating IS a higher grade. And isn't the [cost of cheating] not in fact the same thing as [value of punishment for cheating]!?

Secondly, your "more than" should be a "less than".

Thirdly, isn't the situation the simpler case of :

"some students will cheat if: [benefit of cheating] > [cost of cheating]*[probability of getting caught]"


Comment Not a valid experiment. (Score 1) 324

Put a PC gamer on the PS3 with me and let's try some Killzone 2 deathmatch. I win. Put me on a PC for some Quake 3, I get pwned.

It's not rocket surgery - the analog sticks aren't as instant gratification as a mouse for movement, because developers have more options than 0 or 1 - analog controllers allow for degrees of movement on the sticks, and therefore more realistic movement (inertia). This is why a game like Grand Theft Auto (driving) on PC is kinda sad.

Pitting them one-on-one in an FPS? Well, no shit. Not a valid experiment.
The Courts

Microsoft Wins Windows XP Downgrade Lawsuit 203

CWmike writes "A federal judge has dismissed a year-old lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged antitrust violations for the 'downgrade' rules it set for Windows Vista and XP. The order put an end to the lawsuit filed by Emma Alvarado in February 2009. In her original complaint, she accused Microsoft of coercing computer makers into forcing consumers who wanted to run Windows XP to first buy Windows Vista, or later, Windows 7, before they were allowed to downgrade to XP. The judge rejected Alvarado's accusations, saying that the plaintiff had not proved Microsoft benefited from the downgrade practices that it created and that OEMs implemented."

Secret Service Runs At "Six Sixes" Availability 248

PCM2 writes "ABC News is reporting that the US Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. 'Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating,' says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had 'concern for a while' about the issue."

Comment Re:Ending the wait? (Score 2, Informative) 209

Agreed. I am staying away from Modern Warfare 2 due to the insane discrepancy between critical reviews (~94) and user reviews (>60), on metacritic. And it isn't a ps3/360 exclusive, so there's not even the "dipshit fanboy voting against the other console's games" effect to account for. The same "critics with their collective heads up their butts" phenomenon exists with movies too - check out the high reviews of "Lost In Translation", one of the most overrated films I've seen. Bottom line is that you can't rate a game on a first impression.

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."

Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga 102

sympleko writes "Zynga has the lion's share of traffic in Facebook applications, and Mafia Wars is one of their most popular social games. Collapsing under the weight of over 26 million users, Zynga has been scrambling to thwart hard-core gamers who reverse-engineer URLs or script the game to optimize their enjoyment. Many of the workarounds have annoyed users who were accustomed to various game features, and even worse, the hastily-deployed changes have resulted in many players losing access to the game, in-game prizes, or statistics. Fed up with a software company seemingly bent on discouraging people from enjoying their product, a number of tagged players have organized a boycott of all Zynga games. The first 24-hour boycott on Sunday 12/13 resulted in an 11% decline in Daily Active Users, and an emergency thread on Zynga's forums (from which most of the flames were deleted). The current boycott, extending Wednesday through Sunday is being supported by a 428K strong Facebook group. At issue is the social contract between software companies and their devoted user base, as well as the nefarious tactics Zynga has used to raise cash."

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.