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Comment: Coming from a the partner of a gamer... (Score 1) 550

by samazon (#42649929) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?
My partner (I hate the word "boyfriend" because we're adults, we are buying a house together, I'm a grown ass woman and not a "girlfriend") and I both enjoy video games, however, we didn't start gaming together until City of Heroes. He was a hardcore WoW-er and XBOX gamer, and I was more into Sims/Simcity/Civilization with some zombie shooters every once in a while. City of Heroes was something I loved (customizable to the MAX in terms of character creation) and we really got closer over, because it made me feel less like he was "leaving me" to play WoW (because he'd play COH with me, or I could play alone while he WoWed). COH is closed now, but I enjoyed Guild Wars 2 for a brief period (it gets repetitive quickly but is very pretty and the crafting system is fun for someone who isn't used to other games' crafting systems) and I LOVE an MMO called The Secret World, which is VERY MUCH story-oriented and worth giving a go. I think you should look at both games, and most importantly, ask her what she would enjoy playing. An honest conversation about what she likes, doesn't like, and what will make her feel "bad" is really important - most important is to listen to her and "read between the lines." I'm just as bad about quitting a game if I feel like my partner has advanced so far that playing with me is "boring" for him and I'm not invested in it personally. The nice thing about TSW is that quests are repeatable and you can "delevel" yourself really easily (there are no levels - equipment determines your "level") to go back and play with her and have it been on a more even level (so you're not one-shotting things that are killing her). It may also be that she will enjoy a game like the new SimCity or The Sims 3, or Civilization, or Magic the Gathering. These are the games I play when my partner is shooting stuff in Call of Duty (which I play every so often - but there's the issue where I feel bad because I "bring the team down" even when I'm playing well) or playing something I don't enjoy (he likes a lot more games than float my boat). Also, there are little puzzlers I enjoy - World of Goo and Zenbound are two that come off the top of my head. Look for the Humble Bundles when they come out - it's a great way to get a couple fun little games, and you'll get a better idea of what she enjoys if she dabbles in some different genres.

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 2) 367

by samazon (#41984935) Attached to: Artificial Wombs In the Near Future?
As a female, I say, YAY! In 2030 I'll be reaching my mid-40s and ready to raise children! I'm going to get some of my eggs frozen RIGHT NOW so that I won't have to worry about all those age-related birth defects. AND I'll be able to eat sushi, clean out the litterbox, and continue exercising normally while my baby grows somewhere that's NOT my body. This is a win. Go go gadget babygrower.

+ - James Bond film 'Skyfall' inspired by Stuxnet virus->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "No smartphones. No exploding pens. No ejector seats. No rocket-powered submarines. “It’s a brave new world,” gadget-maker Q tells James Bond in the new film “Skyfall.” The new film, released on the 50th anniversary of the storied franchise, presents a gadget-free Bond fighting with both brains and brawn against a high-tech villain with computer prowess Bill Gates would be envious of. What inspired such a villain? "Stuxnet," producer Michael G. Wilson said. “There is a cyberwar that has been going on for some time, and we thought we’d bring that into the fore and let people see how it could be going on.""
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Comment: Re:Grants? Scholarships? (Score 1) 457

by samazon (#41908579) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force

See, that pretty much sucks, and I didn't know that. It would be a lot less politically divisive if they instituted some kind of general tuition (like other states have) effectively making STEM degrees and liberal arts degrees equivalent in cost. 8-10 semester hours is still (at $200/hour which is a completely made-up estimate based on my vague recollection of what some ... stuff... in the bursars office may have... anyway, I have no idea what the cost per hour is) is still $1600-$2000 ... which is a lot for me (as someone with a job) and more to a college student working to pay for school (or someone like my parents working to pay for my younger brothers school).

I never would have paid that in college. In fact, I'd have made a point to make as big a stink about it as possible. But, that;s just me.

Comment: Re:Grants? Scholarships? (Score 1) 457

by samazon (#41908519) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force
I'm finished with school (and have been for long enough that I have no idea how many credits science labs are, since I took one, my freshman year, and tested out of the rest of the gened math/science/comp/language requirements, thanks) and was using the larger end of the aforementioned "4 to 6 hours" spectrum. Also, 129 hours divided by eight semesters is 16.125 hours per semester, so you should have, somehow, been able to manage to fit all your classes in under the general tuition limit. Part of an advisor's task is to make sure you schedule your classes so that you don't have to pay extra, starting before you ever sign up for a single course. I didn't have to worry about that (I ended my freshman year with something like 60 credits between CLEPs, AP courses, etc.) and frankly, if you don't pursue options like those, it's your own fault (or that of your advisor, who should make you aware of ALL of this). CLEP tests are something like $80 or $100 but they save you three hours worth of credit courses and free you up to take neat things outside your strict degree area.

Comment: Re:Grants? Scholarships? (Score 1) 457

by samazon (#41908353) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force

I'd like a source for your proposal that "scientists contribute more to the overall economy" than news reporters, teachers, etc. As for "only smart people" being admitted to public colleges, generally public schools accept anyone with an average ACT score (the public school I went to accepted students with C averages and a 14 on the ACT) so... anyone willing to put forth minimal effort can get into a university (even if they have to go to community college first) so... both your points are ... less than persuasive.

There are a lot of ways it "could" be done and a lot of them would work well in a perfect world... but not in this world. Nepotism and bigotry will always tangle up and taint programs like the one being proposed. "I think teachers are important because my wife is a teacher" is how these things go - yes, teachers are important, but so are software engineers. Should every teacher get to go to school free (regardless of what happens after they graduate, which this program doesn't take into account, even if they decide to become child care workers or private school tutors or housespouses) while every software engineer should have to pay just because one person (or ten, or even a hundred people) think that they should?

I don't necessarily disagree with you. Mostly I just like to argue.

Politics

+ - Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win Read more: h->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "For all the praise Obama’s team won in 2008 for its high-tech wizardry, its success masked a huge weakness: too many databases. Back then, volunteers making phone calls through the Obama website were working off lists that differed from the lists used by callers in the campaign office. Get-out-the-vote lists were never reconciled with fundraising lists. It was like the FBI and the CIA before 9/11: the two camps never shared data. “We analyzed very early that the problem in Democratic politics was you had databases all over the place,” said one of the officials. “None of them talked to each other.” So over the first 18 months, the campaign started over, creating a single massive system that could merge the information collected from pollsters, fundraisers, field workers and consumer databases as well as social-media and mobile contacts with the main Democratic voter files in the swing states.

The new megafile didn’t just tell the campaign how to find voters and get their attention; it also allowed the number crunchers to run tests predicting which types of people would be persuaded by certain kinds of appeals. Call lists in field offices, for instance, didn’t just list names and numbers; they also ranked names in order of their persuadability, with the campaign’s most important priorities first. About 75% of the determining factors were basics like age, sex, race, neighborhood and voting record. Consumer data about voters helped round out the picture. “We could [predict] people who were going to give online. We could model people who were going to give through mail. We could model volunteers,” said one of the senior advisers about the predictive profiles built by the data. “In the end, modeling became something way bigger for us in ’12 than in ’08 because it made our time more efficient.”"

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Comment: Re:Grants? Scholarships? (Score 1) 457

by samazon (#41907721) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force
General tuition for state institutions where I live means that you can take between 12 and 19 hours per semester for the same cost. Over that is an extra $200 or so per hour. Which meant that I took six 3-hour liberal arts courses per semester (18 hours). I could have, however, taken three science courses per semester (with labs) for the same amount of hours (six) or a combination thereof. Single-hour courses (requisite phys ed, volunteer work, etc.) is even covered within general tuition. You only pay "extra" in STEM degrees IF you elect to take more classes than the recommended courseload to graduate early. Maybe it's different in Florida. Also, if you RTFA, which I did AFTER that specific post, it's not just STEM degrees, it's anything that the advisory board decides is an "area which has jobs to provide" so basically, they get to decide. Bet it's their kids/grandkids degree fields that get lowered first.

Comment: Re:Grants? Scholarships? (Score 2) 457

by samazon (#41907457) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force
This solution would be totally unfair to people who are studying to be teachers, nurses, social workers, news reporters and a whole host of other essential non-STEM careers. I know the world isn't fair, but if this goes into effect, there will be a shitstorm. You cannot have "selective pricing" of tuition in a public institution for specific fields, especially if it is perceived that they are white-male-dominated fields. Also, what happens if someone changes their major?

Comment: Grants? Scholarships? (Score 4, Insightful) 457

by samazon (#41907249) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force
Changing the cost of tuition is going to lead to some really nasty battles in the school and political systems. Easy solution: make the grants available for STEM students. My out of pocket tuition was zero because I had scholarships and grants and worked hard.

+ - Racism Rampant in Mississippi->

Submitted by samazon
samazon (2601193) writes "Last night on the campus of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) students watching the election began shouting racial epithets and offensive political chants. As a resident of the red state with a variety of acquaintances on both sides of the fence, I saw some pretty offensive things on Facebook, but you would think that the younger and arguably better-informed students of Ole Miss would at least realize that shouting racial slurs across campus might come back to bite them in a job interview (or class the next morning)."
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