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Comment: Been playing this for decades... (Score 1) 186

by thePowerOfGrayskull (#48566561) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

I never get tired of this game, and I still go through month long stretches of time where wheneve rI have spare time, I start playing it.

Lately I've discovered nethack 4 - it's an unofficially blessed fork of nethack and some fo the same core developers are contributing to it. The game mechanics and strategies are the same, but the user interface (still all character based by default) is a lot nicer. It also is a complete architectural change to a client-server model - and one fo the benefits of that is that save files have gotten a lot more robust & streamlined.

   

Comment: Re:Demand for Microsoft Skills Declining? (Score 1) 506

"At home we have 2 Linux workstations (3, if you count my old development box I normally keep powered down), 2 Linux laptops, 2 Android phones, an Apple desktop, and an iPhone - for 2 adults and a teenager. Note no Microsoft boxen."

Well, I guess MS should fold up their business and go home. Because nobody anywhere is still using them on the desktop...

Comment: Re:Get a local phone number (Score 1) 506

Actually, Seattle has a lot of local tech people that are employeed by MS and Amazon. Not so many highly qualified . (The company I work for opened up to remote working specifically because it was so hard to find top-tier talent due to MS and Amazon brain-drain, and it's worked out very well for us. )

Comment: Re:Like with everything else, moderation (Score 1) 534

From my point of view, it seems that a lot of parents often forget that children can be very different, even at the same age. It's easy to say "yes, of course the same thing won't work with every child!", but it seems that often people will stop right there, and not consider the reason that some children are different and that the answer "just try Y instead of X" isn't always an option

This is true to an extent. There are a lot of differences among children, and anything you do has to be tailored to the nature and personality of your child.. However, there are also a lot of similarities. Children respond well overall to limts being set and enforced. So set limits. Explain the limits.Enforce them. Explain again (after they're enforced). Because if you don't enforce them, you teach that your limits aren't really limts at all, and they keep pushing them further out. It doesn't mean they won't push them anyway[1] but a consistent response means they know how far they *can* push and what's ok.[2]

When I was a kid (I'm 35), TV time was very limited, especially during the day when there were other things we could do. When we finally got a computer, time on it was limited as well. I even remember wanting to be outside with my Dad over watching daytime cartoons or whatever. It's not choosing the great outdoors over technology, and I hope you realize this.

Of course I do, and that is a valid point. My son is an active boy, but even so I understand that were the choice different - for example, TV with Dad vs outside with Dad - the answer might be different as well. Because when it's "with Dad" in either case, it boils down to whatever the child prefers to do. But my point was that to encourage time outside, I don't give the choice of TV with Dad in most cases. Instead it's time [by himself] using electronics, or time [with me] outside doing stuff. [3] And to a three year old in that's no choice at all - no matter how much he loves watching Bob the Builder.

[1] - most children will push limits. hell mine thinks it's awesome to start sticking appendages into a room I've told him he can't be in. The intent is clear: "you told me I can't be in the kitchen right now, but I'm not - I'm exactly on the threshold and my *hand* is in the kitchen".
[2] -. The answer to this (again in my experience and in my observations) is not to make every limit an absolute thing, except in areas of safety where failure can mean serious injury [2.1]. Set the limit. Know *in advance* how far you will let them push it, and the reasoning behind it (because they will ask and you should have an answer -- after they listen, or else it turns into a negotiation.)
[2.1] No he may never run away from me in the parking lot. Ever. Immediate response to any attempt to do so. On the other hand: I will warn you against the consequences of standing on that stool on the carpeted floor -- but I will not stop you from doing it. Nor will anybody comfort you when you fall down and get hurt. I'll warn you of that, too.
[2] - I say unequivocably enforce limits. This doesn't mean demand instant obedience, but rather know the limit you want to set, know how far you will allow the child to push that limit - and be consistent.
[3] Giving choices - even rigged, loaded choices - is a really important part of parenting, I think. (Perhaps especially the rigged, loaded questions) It took me a while to learn that. Longer still to learn that even very young kids can understand reasoning and choices fairly well. Much better to say, "You can stay here and watch TV while I work in the yard, or you can come outside with me and help." As opposed to either a) not giving the choice because it would much easier for my life to get the yardwork done alone, or b) simply dictating "thou must exit the house fortwith and accompany me now - so sayeth the Lord Dad Thy Father"

Comment: Re:Like with everything else, moderation (Score 3, Insightful) 534

Even though I agree with what you're saying, moderation is something that is hard to achieve if you're already out of control. Moderation is hard to achieve unless you have a concrete goal. Moderation is hard to achieve if you're a young child.

I am not following this logic. Of course moderation is hard to achieve if you're a young child - that's why children have parents.

(I use "you'" in the hypothetical sense below.)

If you are the parent, be the parent. You can tell your child no. You will survive if your child gets angry at you and acts out. You'll even survive the oh-so-dreadful embarassment if he does so in public place. You can manage through the inconvenience caused by actually having to attend your child instead of handing over a gadget to entertain him. You do not have to give him what he wants - because you are the parent.

Yes, by all means, explain WHY - always explain why.. Even at 2 or 3 yrs, children understand a lot more than most people think they do. But don't lose sight of the fact that it's not a negotiation. Explain why *after* your expectation is met. Discuss it *after* the behavior has stopped.

You are not your child's friend, you are his parent. Friendship can come later, if he survives through is twenties long enough to grow into a reasonable facsimile of a human being.

Comment: Re:Like with everything else, moderation (Score 5, Insightful) 534

f you don't want your kids using your tablets or phones, don't let them. I have no trouble letting my kids use the tablets and the phones. At the same time I don't let them play on them all day long. If they finish their homework and chores, they get some play time. And if they want to play a game on the tablet during their play time, well what is so wrong with that?

Exactly this. Set limits. Stick to them. Remember who is the parent and who is the chid. If you don't want your child using more than X amount of tech, then there is *no* excuse in the world for them to be getting away with doing so.

My kid (3) likes to get time on a tablet, and time watching TV. But given a choice between tablet, tv, or 'working' in the yard with me (eg, poking at the dirt with his tools and periodically helping me when he's interested), he'll pick the yard every time.

On average he's allowed a combined 45 mintues of screen time in a day, though sometimes he'll get more and sometimes less. On days when there is no screen time it's generally because he or we are wrapped up doing other things. He doesn't sneak around trying to get to this stuff if we're not watching closely- he knows he's not allowed. He also knows that these things are privileges that can and sometimes do get taken away for bad behavior. When that happens he gets mad and cries and screams - but then gets over it goes playing happily with such high tech toys such as Legos .

I see parents on a regular basis who just hand their phones over to their toddlers withotu a second thought, and this just baffles me. I see some of those parents try to refuse, the kid starts whining/crying, and the parent hands over the device anyway. This baffles me too. As a parent, your job is not to cater to your child's every whim. It is not to shut your child up with a gadget because actually tending your child isinconvenient to your life. Your job is to be a parent.

Comment: Re:Congratulations (Score 1) 762

Seriously? Disliking people and groups of people who significantly differ is something humans have done throughout recorded history. Surely if it were just as simple as accepting enlightenment, this would have stopped millenia ago.

It happens. It's part of human nature.

Classism.
Racism.
Sexism.
You-don''t-look-like-me-ism.
You-don't-speak-like-I-do-ism.

It's all the same. And - since throughout recorded histroy we've not risen above it - I think it's safe to say that it's part of our make up.

Comment: Re:Congratulations (Score 1) 762

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

Sure, people can laugh about this stuff.

Women can laugh about jokes about women.
LGBT can laugh about jokes targeting them.
Blacks can laugh about jokes targeting them.

Lots of laughter,

Just don't laugh at something targeting a group you're not a part of. You don't have that right - because the second you do, you're oppressing them and disdaining all that they've fought for.

Comment: Just stop. (Score 4, Insightful) 56

by thePowerOfGrayskull (#44254317) Attached to: BlackBerry Helps Indian Gov't Spy On Users' Messages

What a predictable clickbait title. I come by here every few weeks (less and less often, honestly - too much crap is just filtering through from populate media conglomerates) and am always able to find something on the front page that reminds me why I've taken to staying away.

But for old time's sake, I'll bite.

- RIM gave access to BIS communications when lawfully requested. This isn't new - they do it for every major government that submits legal requests. The fact that they'd do it for India was resolved months ago, in mid-2012 I think.
- RIM still has not and cannot give access to BES communications. THAT is what the battle with India is about - INdia said "you will give us ALL communications". RIM said "SOrry, we literally just can't do that.". India said "Do it or GTFO". RIM said "Sorry, we really just... can't". India realized this was true, and a big deal was made about the fact that theyr eceived BIS access (like any other government, for any service - not just RIM).
- It was face-saving, because they could not get what they actually insisted on getting - BES. Because the claim was that *BES* was used to planning subversive activities, not consumer BBM and email.
- they've given India no more than another other government. And they give the US government considerably less than any other government.

On that topic: you'll also notice that BlackBerry is NOT on the list of companies assisting NSA with Prism efforts. They do comply with lawful requests for specific data (as long as it's not BES, which they have no access to). But they do NOT hand over data in bulk, unlike all of their competition.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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