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Comment: It's Evolution, Baby. (Score 1) 248

by tarlss (#36169804) Attached to: US Preserves Smallpox For Defense

Smallpox was naturally derived from cowpox. Cowpox is found in animals such as cows, rats and cats. It could very well develop again. Why wouldn't it be a smart idea to keep a hold of small pox just in case? Viruses are highly mutative, we gain a lot of knowledge from holding onto smallpox. There's three scenarios here:

1. Smallpox is delivered as a weapon, either from hidden stockpiles or reverse engineered from cowpox : We use our stockpiles to make vaccine
2. Smallpox is found again in nature, as a natural derivative of cowpox : We use our stockpiles to make vaccine
3. Some other derivative of cowpox shows up due to naturally mutating viruses: We use our stockpiles to compare the two strains, find out why it mutated the way it did, and develop a vaccine.

1 and 3 are likely to happen, as a result of human nature, and good old fashioned nature respectively. In an ideal world, it's conceivable all humans choose to disband biological weapons or something. But it's not realistic to think cowpox won't continue to exist and evolve as viruses do.

Comment: Constitutional Amendment (Score 0) 205

by tarlss (#35220798) Attached to: Clinton Calls For "Ground Rules" Protecting Internet

How about federally guaranteeing every citizen has a connection to the internet?

How about treating internet providers like utility providers? Every land lord should have the duty to make heat, electricity, water, and internet available to citizens.

Honestly, I think we should make it a constitutional amendment to grant citizens the right to access an unfettered and open internet.

Comment: I blame reality TV shows (Score 1) 757

by tarlss (#34983164) Attached to: America Losing Its Edge In Innovation

When stupid crap like Survivor, "Jerseylicious" and other MTV pap get on television, that's what kids want to be. They want to be sassy reality TV show stars with glamorous jobs like "hair dresser" and "image-consultant". It's garbage.

Back in the day we had good science fiction. Now science fiction on television is a rarity. The Scifi channel decided it didn't want to be 'nerdy' anymore. It's entertainment that fosters ambition, and today our kids want to marry rich and act like baffoons for millions. Using technology isn't a joy or privelege for them, it's something as dry as making toast.

Comment: Helicopters (Score 1) 299

by tarlss (#34982756) Attached to: Domestic Use of Aerial Drones By Law Enforcement

I don't support using drones as domestic surveillance.

I support drones having the same roles as Police helicopters, as cheaper and safer replacements for police pilots. We don't need 24/7 Monitoring of civilians or whatever.

But say, having a heavily armed assault drone as part of SWAT team equipment? This, I support. That would be awesome.
Having drones that can track high-speed chases safely (and perhaps engage in slightly more dangerous manuvers than a human-piloted helicopter might attempt)? This, I support.
Replacing a fleet of fuel guzzling, human-risking, high-maintenance helicopters for drones? This, I support.

Using them as domestic cameras, spies or monitors? No, I don't support that.

Aerial drones are the wrong tools for public deterance. That's the role of a patrolman. I can see some kind of ground based Dalek-type robot serving that role, but not an aerial drone. A police robot needs to be able to interact with citizens and offer challenge/response with real people. I wouldn't mind say, a bunch of patrol-bots monitored by policemen, that you could speak to and receive a response from real people. Something that takes over the roll of patrol-car sweeps, for instance. But something that creates a NEW function, and doesn't REPLACE existing humans with more efficient automation, I don't support.

PC Games (Games)

Top Final Fantasy XIV Devs Replaced, PS3 Version Delayed 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-bears dept.
After Final Fantasy XIV's troubled launch and subsequent attempt to placate angry fans, Square Enix has decided that the game's leadership needs to be replaced. They've asked players to patiently stick around until they're ready to unveil their new plans for the game, extending the free trial period to compensate. Square also announced bad news for PS3 owners who were still somehow interested in the game: "Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011."

Comment: Guards! Really! That's it! (Score 1) 890

by tarlss (#34334992) Attached to: Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems

You know what actually secures things?

Guards! Armed guards, with weapons! What those are is up to you. Tasers? Guns? Batons? Pepper Spray? Okay!

Afraid someone will hijack a plane? Put a guard or two on it!

Afraid someone will hijack a train? Guard.

Afraid someone will hijack a bus? Guard!

A guard isn't invasive. A guard knows his home turf. A guard doesn't require an expert to run. A guard doesn't break the 4th amendment. A guard has really nothing better to do than people watch. In the event of a real emergency, a guard can help out.
A guard deters crime and hijinks, JUST BY BEING THERE.

Cost of a scanning machine= $100,000 plus technical support and technicians
Cost of a guard= 50,000 + healthcare plus support.

I daresay, hiring transport guards seems to me the best solution. It would create more jobs, stimulate the economy, and ACTUALLY deter terrorists, as well as common thieves, criminals and mischief makers.

Idle

Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction 779

Posted by samzenpus
from the where's-the-reset-button dept.
Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of new technologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.

Comment: We DO condemn radical Islam (Score 4, Interesting) 1695

by tarlss (#33521510) Attached to: Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Uhm.

To the people who say 'Why doesn't the government condemn radical Islam?" , the fact is, we do.

The US Government, like all good government, speaks mostly through action rather than words in condemning radical Islam. Think about it.

-Supporting dictatorships in lieu of radical Islamic Groups (The US's support for Pakistan, and propping up the Shah of Iran)
-Supporting a dictatorship's war against a theocracy run by radical Muslims (Iran/Iraq War)
-Targetted killings of radical Islamicists in Iraq and Afghanistan
-Huge bounties on the heads of radical Islamicists (The hunt for Osama Bin Laden)
-Wholesale invasions of countries and the dissolution of governments that support radical Islam (Invasion of Afghanistan and the fight against the Taliban)
-Supporting moderate Muslim governments over radical ones (Visits to Egypt, funding for Pakistan and Iraq)

In fact, the American military's main goal over the past 9 years has been the suppression, destruction and dissolution of radical Islam over the years. Pretty much every armed force from the Army proper, to the CIA has been devoted to taking radical Islam to task.

***
Paster Terry Jones is acting like an asshat and ruining our work against radical Islam. THAT'S why we're condemning him.

When Muslims burn bibles, the Western world DOES get upset. Infact, we get so upset we make lists of the incidents and eventually take armed actions against groups that go too far. Obviously we hope that the local governments take care of things, but do you think that the US is so naive? We have diplomats and ambassadors all over the world busy 'nudging' governments whenever such actions occur.

Radical Islam taking action against blasphemers isn't a threat, it's a fact. We have armed men and women protecting us so we CAN do blasphemous acts safely. But doing them makes their job harder. It's just like you don't randomly provoke local gang-members or mafia-men: it's well within your rights to do, but is it SMART? No. Can the government protect you from retaliation? They'll TRY, but whether they'll succeed is a different matter.

Radical Muslims, like any radical members of a religion, are generally brainwashed ignorant thugs. Pastor Terry Jones is a radical Christian. Why should we treat him any differently? We should condemn his sentiments and desires, and make sure to take action in case things turn violent.

Comment: Re:A Natural OPSEC Move (Score 1) 82

by tarlss (#32716202) Attached to: China Bans Military Personnel From Blogging

Agreed,

I wouldn't say that all military personel everywhere ever should be banned from social networking, but it makes perfect sense that active enlisted personel should not be allowed to post social network or blogs.

Any nation with any kind of practical intelligence apparatus could easily run a crawl/search that analyzes FB status updates of enlisted personel and come up with a pretty good picture of what they're doing an where, complete with photos.

I don't think this should be applied to off-duty and reservist personel unless they were activated. Honestly, it's not difficult to tell whether a reserve unit has been activated anyway (Pretty easy to tell when a good percentage of a population vanishes)- we shouldn't be infringing on more personal freedoms than necessary.

Advertising

APB To Use In-Game Audio Advertisements 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the almost-like-an-all-points-bulletin dept.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that upcoming action MMOG APB: All Points Bulletin will use in-game audio advertisements as part of its business model. The number of ads you hear will be limited: "you'll only hear an ad when you go into a new zone, and that's only once every three hours." Nevertheless, some gamers are upset that these ads will be included on top of APB's already unusual payment plans. The game is set for release next Tuesday. Producer Jesse Knapp says of Realtime Worlds' goals for APB, "We looked at other online action games, and we saw things we felt could be better. Only 12 to 32 players in a match, bad connection due to peer-to-peer, dead cities, way too much time in lobbies, things like that. So what we set out to do was to make a game that has that online player vs. player action game experience in a large city with other players around, no lobbies, dynamic matchmaking, dedicated servers, great experience, and that's been one of the driving factors of APB from the very beginning." CVG recently previewed the game.
Image

The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the been-for-sale-for-years dept.
Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website Owners.com by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.
Movies

Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful? 385

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-just-uwe dept.
An article at CNN discusses why big screen interpretations of video games, even successful ones, often fail to succeed at the box office. Quoting: "The problem with successfully adapting video games into hit Hollywood spin-offs may lie in the way in which stories for both mediums are designed and implemented. Game makers chasing the dream of playing George Lucas or Steven Spielberg will always strive to coax human emotion and convincing drama from increasingly photorealistic virtual elements. The Hollywood machine, in its endless chase for big bucks, can't help but exploit the latest hit interactive outing, often failing to realize it's often a specific gameplay mechanic, psychological meme or technical feature that makes the title so compelling. Both sides may very well continue to look down in disdain on the work that the opposite is doing, which can doom any collaborative efforts. But where the two roads truly diverge is in the way stories are fundamentally told. Films offer a single, linear tale that's open to individual interpretation, whereas games are meant to be experienced differently and in a multitude of ways by every player." On a related note, reader OrangeMonkey11 points out that an 8-minute short has showed up online that appears part of a pitch for a potential Mortal Kombat reboot movie. Hit the link below to take a look.

Comment: Outside of school, the law rules. (Score 1) 319

by tarlss (#32457510) Attached to: PA Appeals Court Weighs Punishment For Students' Online Parodies

The principle has no power outside of school. If say, his ex-wife made such a post, there would be little he could do about it other than sue.

If say, some anonymous trolls on 4chan made such a post, they would probably get off scot-free.

The principle is obviously abusing his power, by using it to punish for acts outside of his jurisdiction. That would be like punishing children in order to coerce their parents into doing something.

Comment: To be fair (Score 1) 714

by tarlss (#32431086) Attached to: Australian Schools To Teach Intelligent Design

Back in grade school we did spend a good amount of time on Greek and Native American Creation myths...discussing Christian creation myths would only be fair.

ID should be placed in the backseat of history as far as education is concerned, along with Aztec Sun Gods, Zeus and Osirus. Knowledge of that stuff is definitely important in analyzing multiple perspectives from multiple cultures, and in the long run it means ID will be considered a fanciful, romantic, and dead religion that a bunch of people got riled up about.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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