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Comment What is the hardware used for, anyway? (Score 1) 381

tapping the GPU mining potential of gamers, more specifically gamers of free-to-play games

So people buy gaming hardware, and then play F2P games that... don't actually utilise the hardware to run games, but for other purposes?

Consider the alternative: firing up a Bitcoin miner on background and running some other game that doesn't require a sophisticated GPU. The gamer can keep the profit all to themselves. The only upside is that the mining company can give the gamers different games. But the fundamental problem is that people think they're buying gaming hardware, you're saying they have gaming hardware... while downplaying the fact that they're not actually using the gaming hardware for gaming at all.

Ye gods, it's like 1999 again, people get venture capital for only slightly retarded business plans

Comment Re:Everyone ignores Commodore (Score 1) 301

I bet Jack Tramel's death won't get the kind of coverage that Steve Jobs got.

Funny. I opened up a prominent Finnish technology news site that seems to worship the ground upon which modern-time gadget makers walk on - sure enough, no mention of Tramiel yet.

Open up the news from the national broadcasting company? Boom. That's in the foreign news section, so that's fairly prominent. Dennis M. Ritchie's death was relegated to the "science and technology" section. Oh boo hoo.

(Yes, they covered Steve Jobs too. Who didn't?)

I was only half-heartedly hoping Tramiel's death would be reported in national news, but I was not surprised that they actually did that. Commodore computers were pretty damn popular here back in the day.

Comment *facepalm* Who needs a patent? (Score 1) 214

I have a G+ profile, but I don't post that much there.

If they'd just let me stick the RSS feeds from my blogs there, the profile just might be a little bit more useful, you know? Simple and effective. (Perhaps even integrate to Google Reader somehow. Let people see what I post. Let people see what I liked.)

Wait, such a brilliantly obvious idea is not patentable and Facebook already bought FriendFeed. *sigh*

Comment Re:I don't buy it (Score 1) 106

Yeah, I thought the same. XBL purchases come out of your MSPoints wallet, which is (logically enough) stored in XBL, not the console - you can purchase stuff through the xbox.com website too, and stuff gets downloaded when you turn the console on again. Credit card info is stored on XBL too, as far as I can boundlessly speculate. Wouldn't make much sense to store it on the console, especially since the XBL account is not tied to a specific console.

However, as far as I can tell you can have multiple 360s logged in at the same time, and the console stores authorisation cookies, not passwords; you can change the Windows Live account password and the console will still happily log you on. You can change your privacy settings to only allow your One Holy Console(tm) in without passwords. Still, theoretically, you could (somehow) let your hard drive slip to someone else, thus allowing them to log in as you, and have someone charging stuff for your credit card, but all those points would go to your account anyway. All the more reason to set the password asking on.

Comment Re:Put them to work (Score 1) 1054

harsh personal treatment of individuals [...] Christ treated them with compassion -- as long as they confessed that their sin was a sin.

Oh, so that clears that up, then. He's not.

Yeah, all he says is that as long as gay people accept that God created them as abominations, they can continue to exist in the abominable state and not be totally nuked off the face of the planet collectively. Totally not homophobia.

Comment This really does everything! (Score 1) 146

Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps.

And I don't have an Android device.

Way to go! Get us excited about an awesome new service that does everything we've ever wanted, then tell me that basically it does nothing. Just because you live in a country the big media people forgot. And not some third-world country either - a perfectly normal and highly technological European country. Birthplace of the Android kernel, by the way. This is how they repay us?

I usually have nothing but good things to say about Google, and I know that for many parts this stuff is not really their fault, but god damn this stuff is always depressing.

</bitterness>

Comment Re:Sellout to special interests (Score 1) 181

If some special interest group wanted to influence law this way, the bigger question would be how they would keep a lid on it once they start bribing people. Remember, this is a country with very little political corruption, or at least that's the public perception - the last time we had to start asking questions about unclear sources of campaign fundings, it really hit the fan in the media.

So I believe someone would notice if random citizens were handed money for supporting an initiative. Since this is (as far as I can tell) a publicly documented process, it'd be even harder. And, besides, what would these special interest groups do if a counter-proposal sprung up, and people were supporting it without monetary incentives?

Comment Re:and where is exactly the problem? (Score 1) 915

The concept of unalienable rights is a product of the 18th century and inextricably linked to religious belief: rights are inalienable because they are endowed by a Creator. Since modern societies find it increasingly unlikely that there is a Creator, that religious basis is no longer tenable and most of the West (with rising nations like China) now follows some variant of utilitarianism where rights are a convenient and mutable legal fiction to ensure general quality of life.

That's funny. The only place I can think of that specifies that inalienable rights are endowed by a Creator is the US Declaration of Independece. Here's a free hint: not every country in the world uses this as a basis.

Here's what our Constitution says: "Section 11 - Freedom of religion and conscience. Everyone has the freedom of religion and conscience. Freedom of religion and conscience entails the right to profess and practice a religion, the right to express one's convictions and the right to be a member of or decline to be a member of a religious community. No one is under the obligation, against his or her conscience, to participate in the practice of a religion."

Note the wording: "Everyone has the freedom of religion and conscience". It's just stated as a matter of fact. It doesn't need to come from any source. The law regards that as an irrelevant detail that is of no consequence. This is because the law is no place to explore some mysterious rationales for things.

It doesn't matter where good ideas come from, as long as those good ideas are actually upheld. The western society has, as a conclusion to watching strange things happen over centuries, come to the conclusion that freedom of religion and conscience - ability to freely accept and reject religious and moral ideas on personal level - is a good idea, and there's no problem keeping things that way.

Democracy depends on "mutable legal fiction". Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to correct the mistakes that legislators made in the past. Some laws may seem like good idea at time, but sometimes they unfortunately become outdated. And as it happens, basic human rights are good ideas that everyone still agrees are good ideas. Because we've seen what the alternatives are, and they just aren't pretty. Just look at the article.

Comment Re:Use LaTeX (Score 5, Informative) 559

We all know LaTeX allows you to focus on the content and magically comes up with beautiful layouts. I mean the single best page layouts are always in the looks-the-same LaTeX format! And it's so intuitive to use!

Looks-the-same format? Wha...? =)

Also, funnily enough (and relevant to the article), one of the groups who is trying to improve (La)TeX's suitability for modern font technologies and supporting obscure languages is SIL, a group that does, among other things, Bible translations. (The end result is XeTeX, one of the best TeX versions out there right now if you want good PDF output and TrueType/OpenType support out of the box.)

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 2) 470

Linux is difficult to use because of the command line problem, yes, but more so the problem is that Linux is a hodge podge of software that need not work well together.

No, Linux is difficult to use because it is a hodge-podge of software that works well together. Newbies take annoyance on the fact that sometimes you need to use a completely different software to finish your job, and that's just bad. They think that the software isn't good enough if it can't do everything they need it to do. They want completely integrated solutions to everything.

Of course, the pros know that it's better to just have separate tools that by themselves work much better than whatever hacked-together crap you will integrate in the software. And, incidentally, that is also true for other operating systems, on all fields of work. You don't just pick a piece of software to do your job; you do your job by picking the right pieces of software for the tasks at hand. A subtle but crucial difference.

It's just that it takes some user conditioning ("No, you may need to use separate app for that part of the job, and since I do that every day without a hitch, it's not as painful as you think, trust me"), and user education ("There are several apps that can do that part of the job, like X, Y and Z, but you can search for more options using website W and package manager P.")

Comment Re:Mythbusters to the rescue! (Score 1) 130

Mythbusters can make a vehicle remote operated for a weekly TV show.

Except that a discerning viewer might notice they don't produce all of the material for a single episode a week. It's fairly obvious that they can spend a longer time testing a single myth than a week, if the need arises. They seem to sort of buffer their stuff on the background and have multiple bits of stuff going on at once.

So this is what they might say:
"We need a remote-controlled fire truck. How much time do you need?"
"Two weeks."
"...oh, and unlike your normal stuff, it absolutely has to work, because you can't randomly explodinate a fire truck in a residential area - which, by the way, is quite irradiated too."
"Maybe three or four weeks? We're not experts on building this stuff if it absolutely has to work under those conditions, but we can call the experts if needed."
"Let's just skip the middle man. We're calling in the experts, because we don't have that much time anyway."

Comment Re:Getting apps onto feature phones (Score 1) 286

Is there a standard way to get MIDlets (Java ME applications) onto feature phones without having to get them approved by the phone's manufacturer or the carrier?

Depends on the phone, but usually, it involves dumping the .jar somewhere and letting the phone work its magic.

Completely Anecdotal Story(tm): I bought a Nokia 7020 a year ago. I had used a Nokia 9110 for quite a while, so the ability to run Java is awesome. (Oooh, I might even be able to make my own applications this time! The legends tell of the ways you could develop software for the 9110. It involved a highly advanced DOS-based platform, serial cables, and transfer software that only ran in Windows.) My cellphone provider does not have any app stores, or at least doesn't bother to advertise much. Nokia has (had???) Ovi Store, where I could grab applications.

Now, the only apps I have used a lot over the year are 1) Opera Mini, which was automagically updated, and 2) Mobidentica, which was basically "open the page with Opera Mini, select the .jar link and download the thing, and afterwards move the thing to the SD card." The guy who develops the software has it the code in github or something. Life looks pretty good.

The phone keeps asking annoying questions all the time ("May I use the network connection?" "Why, go right ahead!") but I guess it's better than not asking for any permissions at all, ever.

Comment Inform 7 (Score 1) 237

Inform 7. The good thing about text adventures is that they don't necessarily require gigantic graphics and sound budget - you can focus entirely on storytelling.

Inform 7 is also a good example of how programming can be extremely unintimidating. Inform is one of the few "natural language" programming languages that actually accomplish the goal of being an usable programming language and not making programming too verbose.

I think I7 would be a good platform for introductory games from a pedagogical point of view, at least - it lets you focus on creating puzzles, internal logic and story, which to my non-expert understanding are probably fairly important topics when you actually sit down and design games. =)

Comment Re:No secret decoder ring here! (Score 1) 140

What I'm more concerned is the choice of words: the stuff is "encoded" and you need "special software".

I certainly hope this is just a bad choice of words and they meant to say it's encrypted using some decent enough cipher. If it uses public key crypto, then we can assume the messages are sent in a reasonably secure manner. But who has the secret keys, by the way? How they have designed the key infrastructure? Will everyone who has access to the "special software" be able to read every message ever, or is the potential for damage somehow being compartmentalised?

In short, it's not enough for them to just say "eh, it's encrypted anyways" - we all would love to know if it's encrypted sensibly. Marketers say the protection is super unbreakable, but we need to remember that the same was said of the DVDs, and look at what we found there.

Comment Re:Having been into the lunar sample vault... (Score 1) 132

To give a quick (and slightly oversimplified) example, an initial sample brought back from the moon may have been labeled A. After it was broken in two, the two samples were A-1 and A-2. When the first one was broken in three, it became A-1-a, A-1-b, and A-1-c.

Ah, the migrations may have failed in the past, but we have the technology to do the sample management efficiently now! Simply replace the existing sample management system with Bitcoin technology. It works the exact same way! Plus, it wouldn't affect the actual worth of Bitcoin in any way. Everything would stay just as speculative!

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