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Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 2) 67

by Artifakt (#47563707) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Some of the Hobbit film bits are supposedly from letters JRRT wrote Christopher about 20 years after LOTR came out, describing how he would like to rewrite the book to make it tie in better with LotR and the limited Silmarillion notes he had at the time. Tolkien was supposedly torn between finishing up the Silmarillion or going back and working on a 'better' hobbit first. I suspect there's some truth to this claim - LotR draws from a great many sources that are fundamental in studying early English literature, from Spencer's Faerie Queen to the "Jack the Giant Killer" stories, to the Song of Roland to Beowulf itself, and the Hobbit's literary roots are mostly in one story - the same one Wagner drew on for Das Rheingold. Some of the dwarf naming and such in the Hobbit seems to connect to Finnish mythological tales and maybe some other Scandinavian sources, but the references are mostly truncated there or limited to a few very short phrases to fit in a children's book.
          I can certainly see JRRT deciding to work in some other bits from classics he couldn't really use in LotR. LotR took so long because Tolkien wanted it to have a certain gravitas as fantasy and so aimed for being really encyclopedic in referring to the roots of Fantasy literature, and at least touching broadly on English literature of the mundane and modern kinds. Tolkien even read some Lovecraft (and liked it), probably before writing the scene of the Watcher at the gate to Moria, possibly afterwards to see how it compared, and read or re-read some of the more esoteric works of T. S. Elliot, R L Stevenson and such, maybe just to have a better idea of where he wanted to steer modern English lit. or maybe to see if he needed to actually address these modern works in what he aimed to make his Magnum Opus. What he did afterwards, planning a next stage after becoming such a success, was doubtless quite technically ambitious.
        I respect people saying they don't like this or that, but some of those people might want to do a little research before they label everything they don't like as not true to Tolkien. In particular, the scenes where the dwarves try to use all the gold to kill the dragon seems to have some real connection to Tolkien's plans for the story, and possibly the way there is more about human 'politics' in Laketown is too. Once people get some idea of what might have been the Hobbit, rewritten for an audience the same age as LotR's, they can rag on the Hobbit equivalents of Elven Shield Surfing twice as hard. (Please! I could have done without half the falls in the Goblin caverns and had the height of the other half quartered, and the extended commercial for the Elven Rafting Riveride at Universal Orlando). Still, not everything here needs to be line for line either.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 1) 158

by Bob9113 (#47563589) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Isn't self-hosting a violation of most ISP EULAs?

I think so, if you have user-grade service, but I pay for a commercial-grade Internet connection that comes with a static IP for running services, and I run three hosted servers. Freedom isn't free (but it is a lot of fun). :)

Ever wonder if maybe that rule has less to do with bandwidth and more to do with preventing the creation of a peer-to-peer, decentralized internet?

I think there's some truth to that, if for no other reason than that the ISP probably would rather not have the headache associated with average idiots running servers. They're run by guys with MBAs who genuinely believe that centralized is inherently better -- like to the level that they don't even grasp what you're saying at first, if you try to explain the benefits of decentralized.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 292

by shutdown -p now (#47563479) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

You might need to apply for a crappy card at first if you really have NO history

Getting a credit card with no history whatsoever might be tricky unless you're really young. But even in that case, pretty much any bank will happily give you a credit card if you place a security deposit with them (the credit limit will then be tied to the amount of said deposit). That still counts as credit and lets you build up credit score - and eventually they will release the deposit. I had to resort to that when I moved into US from another country - given my age and employment, combined with the complete and utter lack of any credit score records whatsoever, that's the only arrangement that I could find. I got my security deposit back on the second year of using the card, and started getting more card offers from other banks at about the same time, which I assume coincides with crossing some threshold on the credit score.

Comment: Re:Just get a case (Score 1) 514

Quite right, I have failed to show anything substantive. And yes, I am too lazy to do the measurements on my own, since I have nothing vested in this topic and plenty of other ways to spend my time and money. It was simply my goal to point out an obvious set of factors which appear to have gone unaddressed in his methodology, and the ways in which they may (as I believe) have impacted his results and invalidated his conclusions.

To go off of what you said, not only do I believe—without having the numbers to back me up—that people who have used slide-out keyboards will correlate heavily with those who preferentially chose them at some point, I also believe that that idea is self-evident to most people. And I also believe—again, without the numbers—that the class of user who has considered and rejected slide-out keyboards without ever having used them is significantly larger than the class of user who at some point has used them (i.e. the ones allowed in the survey). In failing to consider those factors, I also believe that Bennett inadvertently weighted the pool of surveyed users towards those most likely to favor slide-out keyboards.

All of which is to say, you're right that I have no factual basis for my assertions (and I'm glad that folks around here still take people to task for valid reasons such as yours), since I haven't done the surveys or pulled together my own results. Even so, that doesn't change that Bennet failed to consider two factors that have the potential to heavily skew his results, and that, as a result, he lacks a solid basis for concluding "that the near-extinction of slideout-keyboard phones in retail stores is probably not in proportion to what people actually want" (unless by "people" he means "people who used slide-out keyboards"). The only thing he can reasonably conclude, based on his methodology and results, is that among users who have used slide-out keyboards, more than half prefer them. That's it, nothing more, and that remains true whether or not my assertions are correct.

Comment: Relative Window Duration (Score 2) 292

by Bob9113 (#47561995) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"?

The first window lasts from 0.08 years to 0.5 years, while the second window lasts from 0.5 years to 7.0 years. The relative window width is (7.0 - 0.5) / (0.5 - 0.08) = 6.5 / 0.42 = 15.47. So if each person only had zero or one debts, and no debt was ever paid off, you'd expect there to be 15.47 times as many debt holders in the second window as in the first. 15.47 * 5% = 77%. So the fact that it is at 35% means that there is some combination of people being in both categories and people paying off their debt while it is "In Collections." If it was 5%, or 77%, you'd be able to make a pretty solid guess that something was hinky, but 35% is in the "could be perfectly reasonable" range.

I'll also echo the sentiment that some creditors do a horrible job of billing. I had a large outstanding debt for years before finding it on my credit report. The company had a typo in my address from the original signup, but had been getting copies of my credit report which had my correct address. They sent all the bills to the incorrect address they had on file, never once contacted me at the address on file with the credit reporting company they had been contacting.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 1) 158

by Artifakt (#47561839) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

I'd argue that they also cross the line when the spend valuable tax dollars on very low level risks, and when certain foreign governments have volutarily cooperated with needful investigations and are now being treated as though that doesn't matter, as we can get the info whether they work with us or not, so screw international cooperation. American agencies that don't really see any difference between Australia and Afghanistan probably should concern you. Contributing to international accords and then ignoring them probably should concern you. Spending tax dollars that could go to rebuilding much needed infrastructure on building up the threats before we spend more to take them down definitely should concern you.
          Recently declassified documents have revealed that there were years in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the whole funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was being spent on CIA disinformation campaigns. That''s never been officially investigated by Congress or in any way restricted, and could still be going on now, seventy years after it started.With that as their history, the only thing that concerns you is crossing the domestic line? Doesn't that even suggest they are spending way too much of your taxes on nothing?

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 561

by shutdown -p now (#47561389) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

They already have to include non-Slavs, though. Remember that Russia is like 10-15% Muslim (depending on who you ask), and most of these are non-Slavs. Then of course you have a bunch of other guys like Yakuts or Buryats.

The overarching ideology is actually Eurasianism; Russians are seen as the "core nation" in that model, the one that binds everyone else together around it. Not dissimilar to how Stalin described USSR after WW2.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 2) 254

by mrchaotica (#47560503) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

You mean, limited to writing for any platform that uses something other than a web page as its UI (including embedded development, server-side development, regular PC applications, mobile, video games, etc.)? I think I can live with that limitation!

(Actually, even if you do write things that use web pages for their UI, unless you're the "UI guy" you still might not have to know much CSS!)

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 158

by Bob9113 (#47560357) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

I can't find words for how much I hate Congress and the President for this.

I can. But I'm afraid that if I use them in public, I could be put on the secret watch list and have to face extra scrutiny in every LEO encounter when "possible terrorist, report to FBI" pops up on their computer.

Of course, that chilling effect means that the peaceful feedback mechanism that is supposed to moderate government overreach is being attenuated. When that moderation system is weakened, excesses grow. Fortunately, as The Declaration of Independence notes, "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." So we have time.

But time grows short; The Declaration does not end with that phrase.

Comment: Re:What's the market for this? (Score 2) 58

by sexconker (#47560287) Attached to: $299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed

What if the ultimate goal of the design concept was not stream from a PC, but stream over the internet from a datacenter using many Tesla or other high-end nVidia GPU's in a datacenter? Think about it... the client hardware becomes thin (most importantly less expensive) and the heavy lifting is done on the server-side in the cloud. By the way, now the costs for hardware are passed onto the game publisher rather than the end-user. Transitioning from a end-user component designer to a complete game system solution provider may be very viable for nVidia's future. Gaming is where nVidia is strong, why doesn't this make sense to develop the IP for future markets and opportunities? After all, if Google or other large companies force a faster better stronger Internet fabric...we may actually see end to end latencies drop low enough and bandwidth to be high enough to do this well. Sounds like a smart plan to me.

Welcome to 3 years ago with OnLive and Gaikai.
The compression and latency make it a fucking terrible experience.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"