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Comment: Re:Do it in your free time (Score 1) 300

by pugugly (#48754451) Attached to: The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

More to the point, anything that evolves to eat stars, must also evolve to be able to survive the death of the first one they eat, or must have evolved to survive the death of a start prior to developing the capacity to feeding on them.

In a not-quite infinite Universe I can just manage to buy into a life form that feeds on a star . . . once. Once that happens it must either manage to escape the now dead gravity well, or having triggered a stellar explosion, survive a supernova. Legion of Super Heroes aside, these both strike me as being orders of magnitude more unlikely than the already only mathematically possible evolution of an 'Astrophage' in the first place.

Now a Planet-Eater (a'la "One of our Planets is Missing" from ST-TAS) seems more viable, although the gravity well situation is still iffy. But at least it doesn't involve surviving a super-nova.

The other possibility would be an something that is more of an infection than a 'creature' - if something started a process that ended in a supernova, but during early stages resulted in the star blowing out the infection as it blew out it's outer shells, such an interstellar virus *could* survive in deep space as part of the Nebula before being drawn into another star that passed through it and 'Infecting' it. But even then the 'it somehow survived this' value seems unlikely.

Comment: Batman (Score 1) 669

by pugugly (#46284355) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

*Just* finished the last of the side missions in Arkham City and Riddler items (Still have some of the combat 'use such in such five times in combat' but otherwise complete). In an oddly neat twist of fate, evidently the only character I can play that suddenly decides to whip through the Advanced AR missions was the 'Batman Beyond' batman - which explains what sadist *designed* those things - Bruce Wayne! THAT MY STORY AND I'M STICKING BY IT! Probably will go back to my dream of actually finishing Baldur's gate all the way through now (Never finished Throne of Bhaal).

Skyrim rocks of course - my mother is still playing, and is insisting I get Daggerfall installed so she can play all the way through, which I find hilarious.


Comment: Re: GWB knew that there were no WMDs (Score 1) 494

by pugugly (#45547427) Attached to: and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality

(Score:3, Informative)? <-- Seriously?
Ah . . . no. Try (Score:-1 Counterfactual)

New Undeclared WMD's were *reported* as found by Fox news, multiple times.

And then they did much quieter retractions, multiple times.

Only Chemical Weaponss were ever found, all of which were properly declared to the UN Weapons inspectors before the Iraq war.
No weapons, Nuclear Biological *or* Chemical dating from after the 1991 Iraq war have *ever* been recovered in Iraq.

Anyone that says WMD's or evidence of ongoing programs for WMD's have been found in Iraq is lying to you.


Comment: Re:guy at the top was in on the ruse too (Score 1) 494

by pugugly (#45547393) Attached to: and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality

You guys know that
A - the Federal website notwithstanding, the actual results of the law are pretty much as predicted by the laws designers and the CBO predicted, not the disaster the right wing kept claiming would happen, and
B - Websites . . . can be redesigned . . .

Because you're focusing on a short term issue here.


Comment: Re:The Only Good Bug is a Dead Bug. (Score 1) 726

Okay - as a veteran, I read, enjoy, sympathize with, and utterly disagree with the theory of government Heinlein was expounding on in Starship troopers.

But it *is* a valid theory of government, that citizenship is distinguished via volunteering for government service. Notably - the *only* benefits given for this in the book are that you can
A) Vote
B) Run for Public Office
C) Teach Social Studies (And evidently hold certain other specific jobs not mentioned)
The theory being that, having been willing to put your life on the line for society, you are qualified to make decisions about people putting their lives on the line for society.

I disagree with it (I think it undervalues other contributions to Society), but the point is that agree or not Heinlein makes a valid argument and puts enough into it that you can disagree with it and still admit it's a valid argument. If you're going to satire it your satire needs to be as smart as the original book.

Bluntly, it's not. It answers the arguments of the original book by ignoring them and treating them as unworthy of argument - the term for that is not satire, it's contempt. It would be merely insulting if that contempt were in the venue of an original work that took the premise from a new angle - but they didn't do that. They actually bought the book, then pissed on it.

Now, let's be honest - it this were, say Anthem, I wouldn't care. You can logically prove that Anthem actually sucks as an argument, and you can treat it with contempt without actually being dumber than it is. But Starship Troopers doesn't actually meet that criteria. It has an argument you need to actually answer.

As Satire, it completely fails.


Comment: Read the *original* articles please (Score 1) 668

by pugugly (#45179235) Attached to: A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

The, a 'Independent' Journal Review is not terribly independent - Pretty Right wing actually, and the article cited has a *lot* of context missing. It's not as bad as some I've read - the basic thesis is true, but statistically neither the Conservatives, the Liberals, or the Tea Party itself are *meaningfully* correlated with better or worse understanding of Science - very slight negatives in the main body of Conservatives, very slight positives in Liberals and Tea Party members, but the correlations are miniscule. The researcher has some choice words to say regarding the attempt to make the Tea part look like hyper-encephalic geniuses here, including a bit of snark along the lines of "Hey Suddenly Eastern Ivy League Studies are completely trustworthy among Tea Party Conservatives - Who Knew!"

Original Post: Some data on education, religiosity, ideology, and science comprehension

His Update with a review of responses: Congratulations, tea party members: You are just as vulnerable to politically biased misinterpretation of science as everyone else! Is fixing this threat to our Republic part of your program?


Comment: Re:Bad analogy is bad (Score 1) 285

by pugugly (#45150899) Attached to: Blizzard Wins Legal Battle Against <em>WoW</em> Bot Company

Actually my problem with this is that it is impossible for a company that creates bot software to break *Blizzards* terms of service. Only the customer can break Blizzards TOS, because only the customer actually has a relationship with Blizzard.

Moreover - it doesn't even pass muster on that level because the TOS as they stand - are not actually legal. The Uniform Commercial Code is the only legal framework for interpreting a TOS agreement, and the UCC is quite clear - this kind of Boilerplate agreement is only acceptable as a contract between Merchants -
(1) "Merchant" means a person who deals in goods of the kind or otherwise by his occupation holds himself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices or goods involved in the transaction or to whom such knowledge or skill may be attributed by his employment of an agent or broker or other intermediary who by his occupation holds himself out as having such knowledge or skill.
(3) "Between Merchants" means in any transaction with respect to which both parties are chargeable with the knowledge or skill of merchants.

The default under UCC code is not that people are considered to be merchants, but consumers - and thus, under the law, this type of boilerplate agreement is not applicable. Unless there is a 'professionsal' WoW player, the TOS is unenforceable.

This is simply interference in a third parties right to contract.

Comment: Programming language (Score 1) 340

by pugugly (#44737329) Attached to: For Education, Why TI-83 &gt; iPad

I think the more important question to me - *is* there a good programming language for the iPad or (more importantly for me) the Android platform, preferably without jailbreaking it?

I believe you can run bash after jailbreaking, and that's not un-useful, but yeah, I hadn't realized how much it annoys me that there's no quick easy way to do programming (or frankly, scripting) on my tablet barring that.

Any contenders?

Comment: Re:But neverletheless... (Score 1) 340

by pugugly (#44737303) Attached to: For Education, Why TI-83 &gt; iPad

I confess my calculator of choice was a TI-35 Galaxy Solar, and I tended to work fine with that - anything more complex I could simplify in my head til the TI-35 was fine.

That said, the no calculator bias is a bit off in my opinion - it's all grand to know it well enough to scratchpad it, but in the real world you will be working problems that you *need* a calculator for. Statistics is particularly egregious about this but hardly the only contender for mathematics where habitually doing it by hand is actually a bad habit.

Now if someone could explain the attraction of reverse polish notation ... (No, don't, really.)