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Comment: Devil's Avocado (Score 1) 253

by thelandp (#36259228) Attached to: Google Wallet: the End of Anonymous Shopping

(Ok Devil's advocate here, just for fun.)

Who cares?

Let's look at each of your best attempts at a scary consequence.

"Stores can use information about your Doritos purchases to rearrange their wares" - sounds good to me, helping to make sure the shelf hasn't run out of what I want. Why be so protective of information which is expressed so publicly anyway whenever you shop?

"Google could push coupons via its new Google Offers service" - coupons are an annoying way to create artificial loyalty, but I don't think it started with Google Wallet. What might be new here is how tailored the coupons are to your preferences, but I don't see how that's a problem either.

"your health insurance company might be interested in your sodium intake" - of course their interested. Now consider the two options: (a) they don't get information about your individual health, or (b) they do get information. In (a), the insurance premium has to be the same for everyone, regardless of health. If you happen to unhealthy, you're better off, paying the average instead of above average. BUT if you're healthy you're worse off, effectively subsidizing other people's poor lifestyle. This is unfair on those who are healthy, and bad for the group since it rewards bad health as an individual strategy.

Come on man, let go and be part of the google hive mind. One of us, one of us.

(Not sure whether I was really convincing there ... thoughts?)

Comment: You sir, make the logical fallacies (Score 2) 729

by thelandp (#36258892) Attached to: Does Quantum Theory Explain Consciousness?

The article is a "Straw Man" argument, that is to say based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.

To my knowledge, no one makes such a statement as "Quantum Theory Explains Consciousness". There are some sceculative attempts to explain consciousness, but none that I know of use Quantum Theory as the be-all and end-all.

What people might be saying is, there are some interesting relationships between Quantum Theory and Consiousness, which merit further exploration. This is hard to dispute, given the seemingly important role of the conscious observer in the act of measurement.

Thus, "Quantum Theory relates to consciousness" has been mistaken for "Quantum Theory explains consiousness". These are two very different ideas, as "relates", and "explains" are two different kinds of relationships. In fact, "explains" is a special case of "relates to", is the meta-relationship, but I digress.

This sounds more like someone wants to work in the field of philosphy of consciousness, but is grizzling about being expected to know the difficult field of Quantum Theory.

What would make you happy? That thinking about Quantum Theory be banned in all discussions about consciousness?

In the middle, there is a clear example of tautology, with the phrase "no apparent causal link", expressed as though it is an observation to use as input. "Consciousness is not explained" because "there is no apparent link", both expressing essentially the same idea, and the latter is just assumed to be true.

Your argument degenerates into terms like "very basic". When you just keep saying how obvious it is, usually it's the result of the argument lacking any real content.

Now I don't expect this will serve any purpose, but I will take this criticism and make it constructive. It would advance the cause if Science better for you to say what you think consiousness *might* be explained by, rather than what you think it "probably isn't" caused by.

Or if you really want to help rule it out as a cause (which *would*, I admit, have some benefit), then MAKE A MORE SOLID CASE.


Over 160 Tutorial Videos Created For Unreal Dev Kit 48

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-it's-done dept.
As a follow-up to Epic Games' release of a free version of the Unreal Engine last month, the company has now posted over 160 video tutorials which demonstrate the various uses of the Unreal Development Kit. Roughly 20 hours of footage were created by technical education company 3D Buzz, with topics ranging from user interface to game physics to cinematics.

Comment: Re:Oh brother... (Score 4, Insightful) 213

by thelandp (#29033361) Attached to: Green Cement Absorbs Carbon

Frankly, the mention of the term "carbon footprint" puts this squarely in the "hype" category.

Why did that get modded 5 insightful? Carbon Footprint is a valid and useful term.

The only reason I can see why some might like the above comment is if they are so conservative on climate change, they reject even the terms used in discussing it.

It would almost qualify as an example of the logical fallacy known as the "Appeal to Ridicule" but it wasn't quite intelligent enough.



BioShock Creator Levine Teases Next Project 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the shock-and-awe dept.
simoniker writes "In a new interview, BioShock creator Ken Levine has been talking about his studio's philosophy and teasing, at least abstractly, his next project, of which he says 'we had a scope and ambition in mind which is more ambitious than anything we've ever done. Even more, substantially more ambitious than BioShock.' He also commented on 2K Marin, currently working on BioShock 2, wishing them luck but making it clear that he is not majorly involved in the game: 'I'm not working on BioShock 2. I make no claim to anything on BioShock 2, and I think it's important that that's their product, and their culture. Because you can't just clone a studio.'"

Comment: So let me get this straight ... (Score 4, Interesting) 261

by thelandp (#27699345) Attached to: NASA Moon Launch May Be Delayed After 2020

So, we just cut the budget on this project from $4billion to $0.5billion.

And in the meantime, we also just gave $700billion to a bunch of banks. To save them from bankruptcy that was of their own making.

WTF !?!?!

Give NASA some funding - like maybe a tenth of what is being spent in fixing the financial crisis? At least then we know it will be spent on achieving something great.

Comment: Re:I already have more than five senses (Score 1) 187

by thelandp (#27143477) Attached to: Demo of a New "Sixth Sense" Technology
By going on about the lesser known senses beyond the commonly understand five, you have completely missed the point of this demo, which shows a very interesting new technology. You have focused on an entirely unrelated point about number of senses, purely because of the title of the demo. Whether we have 5 or 16 does not change in any way the coolness of this technology. Don't be so pedantic.

Cassini Finds Evidence For Ocean Inside Titan 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-that's-where-it-was-hiding dept.
Riding with Robots writes "NASA reports that by using data from the Cassini probe's radar, scientists established the locations of 50 unique landmarks on the surface of Saturn's planet-size moon Titan. They then searched for these same lakes, canyons and mountains in the data after subsequent Titan flybys. They found that the features had shifted from their expected positions by up to 30 kilometers. NASA says a systematic displacement of surface features would be difficult to explain unless the moon's icy crust was decoupled from its core by an internal ocean, making it easier for the crust to move. If confirmed, this discovery would add to the growing list of moons in the solar system that are icy on the outside and warm and liquid inside, providing potential habitats. We've previously discussed Titan's hydrocarbon lakes and potential cryovolcano."

Take an astronaut to launch.