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Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 507

by twocows (#46755859) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
One of the problems I've heard for people who get them in late (heck, it's a problem for me and I have no hearing problems whatsoever) is that you can't really shut it off. That's constant stimulus that you have that you never had before, and that can lead to serious sleep problems.

The funny thing is, this seems like it has an easy enough solution: just research a way to let people turn them off at will. Maybe it's not that easy, though.

+ - North Korea: Men required to get Kim Jong-un haircuts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BBC reports, "Men in North Korea are now required to get the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un ... The state-sanctioned guidelines were introduced in the capital Pyongyang about two weeks ago ...They are now being rolled out across the country — although some people have expressed reservations ... "Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will," one source tells Radio Free Asia. ... Meanwhile, a North Korean now living in China says the look is actually unpopular at home because people think it resembles Chinese smugglers. ... It seems that haircuts have been state-approved in North Korea for some time — until now people were only allowed to choose from 18 styles for women and 10 for men. Earlier, North Korea's state TV launched a campaign against long hair, called "Let us trim our hair in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle".""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Representation != Political Correctness (Score 1) 704

by twocows (#46565435) Attached to: Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming
For the purposes of this argument, there are two types of games: story/character-driven games, and gameplay-driven games. For gameplay-driven games, it really doesn't matter. The player character is not the important part of the game and whatever color he happens to be really isn't any sort of commentary, it's just arbitrary. So yeah, for that, go ahead and make a character creator and let people have choices. I don't really think the "sexuality" choices would really have much of an affect on appearance, though, so forgive me if I think that one can be left out.

For story/character-driven games... it depends. Above all else, you shouldn't shoehorn "diversity" in for the sake of diversity. When you're trying to tell a story, there are other things that are much more important. You want your story to make sense, you want it to fit, you want your characters to be believable and meaningful, and you want to create an experience that the player cares about. Sometimes, one or more of those goals are mutually exclusive with diversity. This is especially true with realistic fiction stories; it's just a fact of life that many interesting settings didn't really have a lot of diversity.

Now, for something more fantastical, like something set in the future or some kind of fantasy, there's more room for that kind of thing, but even then, you're not going to put a character in solely for the sake of "diversity." The statement you're making with that is that race is meaningful, that it's something that we need to "balance" in games. I would say that's racist in itself. The whole idea is supposed to be that it *doesn't* matter. So, to that end, I would say: bring your vision out. Make the characters you want to make, and don't worry about what all these neo-progressives tell you to write about. There are more important things you should be focusing on than what color skin your characters wear.

Comment: Re:risk aversion (Score 1) 112

by twocows (#46562653) Attached to: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Controls Learning Speed
Listen, I'm all for advancing technology and taking risks, but this particular application has the potential to do very real harm to the test subjects. It's one thing if the researchers put themselves at risk, but putting others at risk because of our own ignorance is unacceptable. I would suggest we do such experiments on animal brains until we have a more thorough understanding of whether or not they'll have serious consequences for human brains.

+ - DirectX 12 promises lower-level hardware access on multiple platforms

Submitted by crookedvulture
crookedvulture (1866146) writes "Microsoft formally introduced its DirectX 12 API at the Game Developers Conference this morning. This next-gen programming interface will extend across multiple platforms, from PCs to consoles to mobile devices. Like AMD's Mantle API, it promises reduced CPU overhead and lower-level access to graphics hardware. But DirectX 12 won't be limited to one vendor's hardware. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm have all pledged to support the API, which will apparently work on a lot of existing systems. Intel's Haswell CPUs are compatible with DirectX 12, as are multiple generations of existing AMD and Nvidia GPUs. A DirectX 12 update is also coming to the Xbox One. The first games to support the API won't arrive until the holiday season of 2015, though. A preview release is scheduled for this year."

Comment: What version? Also, Google Talk is pretty dead. (Score 2) 141

by twocows (#46537327) Attached to: Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections
Are they using SSL, or are they using TLS? Which version of either are they using? Most modern browsers support TLS 1.1 and 1.2, but I can imagine Google falling back to 1.0 or even SSL for compatibility with fossils.

As much as I personally love Google Talk, it's about as dead as you can get. Most links have been redirected to Hangouts, and those that aren't, you have to access manually. If anyone cares, here's the only working link that I'm aware of for Google Talk:

+ - Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps dies-> 1

Submitted by mrbester
mrbester (200927) writes "BBC News reports:

The former leader of a US church that was widely known for its inflammatory anti-gay protests has died, his family has said. The Reverend Fred Phelps Sr, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, died on Wednesday evening at 84. The church, made up mostly of his family, rose to international notoriety with its practice of picketing funerals of fallen US troops. It claimed their deaths were punishment for America's tolerance of gays.

Can we have a resounding "hallelujah"?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Should we stop working on curing cancer, too? (Score 1) 334

by twocows (#46504927) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"
I see this get tossed around a lot and, somehow, it ended up +4 insightful this time. Why do you seem to think that we should only work on one single problem at a time? Should we put all medical research on hold to stop wars? Should we give up on finding new forms of efficient energy because people are fighting each other? The fact that people are "killing each other" (different people, by the way; the author's not really involved with that and probably isn't a specialist in that field, so his ideas wouldn't be helpful there) does not mean that we can't work on improving ourselves in other ways while continuing to work on that particular problem. The solutions and the pursuit of them are not mutually exclusive.

Comment: Re:People need to realize... (Score 1) 747

by twocows (#46483809) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC
I don't see how the rest of your post lends itself to support the supposition that "I don't understand statistics." Rather, it seems to support the supposition that "I don't understand the problem of how statistics is misused in the medical field." I'm willing to concede either (I'm not a statistician, I only have a cursory background in statistics to begin with), but if you saw something blatantly wrong with what I wrote, I'd be interested in knowing what it was.

As for not knowing about the problem of the misuse of statistics in the medical field, that's true. I wasn't aware it was a problem at all, and the post I was responding to seemed like he was just generalizing based on a misunderstanding of basic statistics and how it's applied to research. Considering the context of the comment (it's in re a story about anti-vaccination folk, people who are notorious for misunderstanding basic science and using that misunderstanding to condemn a large body of what is basically well-established fact), I felt it was appropriate to assume that my understanding of his comment was correct. But it seems that wasn't the case, and if so, I was in error; I apologize.

Comment: Re:People need to realize... (Score 1) 747

by twocows (#46483003) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC

They aren't capable of precise theories so instead they disprove that treatment and control groups are exactly the same.

That's basic statistical science. You can't "prove" a hypothesis using statistical methodology, you can only say to some degree of certainty if you reject the null hypothesis (that there is no relation between x and y) or if you fail to reject the null hypothesis (meaning there might be a relation between x and y). This allows us to draw very specific conclusions, such as "we can say with a high degree of certainty that this drug does not have a statistically significant effect on its users" or "there is a statistically significant improvement with patients who took this drug, which supports our hypothesis that the drug helps these patients." The key point here is that we can't prove a theory, but we can support it with empirical evidence, which, with enough testing, can lead us to reasonably conclude that the theory is most likely true. This isn't much different than how the scientific method works in other fields: you make observations, you hypothesize, you test, and you draw conclusions about your tests. You never say "this hypothesis was proven by our experimental results," you say "our experimental results show evidence to support our hypothesis."

Your failure to understand what statistics does and does not allow people to do does not make it useless, nor does it make medical research "shoddy." It just makes you an ignorant fool who thinks his very non-expert opinion on a topic is worthwhile. I'll quote Asimov: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

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