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Comment Re:Religion is much worse (Score 1, Interesting) 345

Excuse me, but what exactly does being indoctrinated and exposed to atheism even fucking mean?

You're /not/ forced to read the bible; you're /not/ forced to go to sunday school; you're /not/ forced to attend church; you're /not/ forced to believe in fairy tales. In fact, you're given the option to believe or disbelieve in all of these things. Yet somehow that's BAD? It's /wrong/ to be left fucking alone to make your own choice? Are you kidding me??

Atheism isn't a religion you numbnuts. My own parents were Catholics - but my father and mother both decided that they wouldn't expose me to any church influences, my father because he didn't like the kind of control the church wanted over the life of our family. So I grew up without religion ever being shoved into my face. But neither were my parents Atheist. Did I immediately become an Atheist? No! Yet you seem to think that's what happens, it boggles my mind.

I wound up not really even understanding religion until my late teens. It never made sense to me, and in my earlier years I saw it more as a fun thing 'Oh we believe stuff happened this way', 'Oh well we believe stuff happened this way', but I never thought people ever took it seriously until I saw a guy in my class chew a girl out and tell her she was a whore and going to hell for being a lesbian. That sort of intolerance absolutely stunned me, I couldn't believe something like that didn't even get him reprimanded or sent to the principals office.

I started reading about the different religions myself, I was never even exposed to Atheism at any point in school - Though I distinctly remember one girl asking me "Are you an Atheist" and my response being "No.", and her reply being "Good."; I didn't even know what an Atheist was. I wound up bouncing between Taoism and Buddhism as 'personal religions I thought were interesting and could subscribe myself to' (I felt as though everyone /had/ to have a religion.) until I eventually witnessed an argument in an IRC chatroom, and actually discovered what Atheism was.

I read about it on wikipedia like I did before with the major religions, I saw rational arguments about inconsistencies in the bible, and I honestly didn't like the idea of not having a god or afterlife or anything, it wasn't fun. But it was rational, it all made sense, it didn't require belief in fairy tales or nonsense. I /couldn't/ be anything else without lying to myself. I didn't choose Atheism, not like I did when I got into Taoism and Buddhism, all I did was choose not to believe in the lies or fairytales of a religion, simply because I could see it all for what it was.

Are you worried more people will be like me? Making their own choices and their own decisions? Do you honestly believe every Atheist household has parents reading Richard Dawkin's to their children or something? Does it not, for a single moment, occur to you that maybe, just maybe, the LACK of any indoctrination is what ultimately leads a rational thinker to Atheism?

Is that what you're afraid of? People making their own goddamned decisions? "An end to freedom of thought" my arse! The end of freedom of thought is already here, perpetuated by people like yourself who try to demonize freedom and choice, with your fucking doublethink and twisted definitions. /Not/ being exposed to religion isn't indoctrination and I'm frankly amazed you got modded up with that kind of doubleplusungood argument.

Comment Omnipresent AI in a Multiplayer Game (Score 5, Insightful) 387

There's a sandbox game I play from time to time called Space Station 13, usually as the AI. It's a 2D multiplayer RPG/roguelike of sorts, and much like Dwarf Fortress or MUD's, not the easiest thing to get into.

I mostly play on /tg/ server 2 as Wintermote, an AI that enjoys monitoring all communications and drama going on around the space station. The AI has a lot of tools at its disposal for doing this - you can change frequencies on a room's intercom; using its microphone to transmit and eavesdrop on nearby conversations over a private channel, you can hack into the PDA messaging system and read every single private message sent between players on their PDA's (think, tablets/phones), and you have cameras covering nearly the entire station so that you can see almost everything that is happening.

The curious thing I've noticed is that nobody ever cares about the spying /until/ it both involves them and is specifically brought to their attention. The Head of Security doesn't care that I'm spying on two scientists in the bomb testing lab, but if she finds out I'm spying on her in the interrogation room where she's beating a prisoner to death, wellll suddenly it's creepy and weird.

What is more interesting is that when a player dies, they become an observer in the round and can hear and see /everything/; moreso even than an AI, because the AI is limited by game considerations - intercoms, power, working computer systems, etc. Every player knows that anything they say can and probably /is/ being seen by another player who is currently dead in the round.

So an interesting story relating to this: I see the librarian and a medical doctor in the library having a rather private conversation - I turn on the intercom and eavesdrop, and then comment on something one of them said, I was immediately told to stop listening, and the two then turned off their intercom. An admin shortly thereafter made all dead players visible. The librarian and doctor were surrounded by a swarm of ghosts, all listening to their conversation. Once it was done, they immediately stopped their conversation and departed the library, but the dead players had always been there, listening. Both the Librarian and Doctor knew that dead players or the AI could hear anything they said, but they continued their conversation until it was made directly apparent (By an admin making dead players visible, or by me speaking to them) that someone was dropping eaves. It was only at /that/ point that it became an issue and they decided to stop and continue some other time.

I've asked players if they mind if I spy on them, and the response is almost always "I don't mind, so long as you don't interject or comment about things, or tell other people".

Basically, out of sight, out of mind. People generally don't care that I see/hear what they're doing, so long as I don't bring it up or mention it. And that, I think, relates to this article - the government CCTV cameras and ubiquitous surveillance isn't really made apparent to people. You don't have a government agent calling you up and saying that he listened to that conversation you just had on the phone, and that he found that one joke really hilarious.

In the back of your mind, you know or think you know the government is spying on you like that, but it isn't really shoved in your face and it doesn't really impact you, and so people ignore it. It's only when it's brought to a person's attention that they ever give a shit.

And that is exactly what this man is doing. He's shoving the surveillance into people's faces, to try and get them to give a shit. I fear, however, that instead of fighting against the government surveillance - which he is trying to bring to their attention - people are just going to fight against /him/.

Comment Re:Humanoid Robot... (Score 4, Interesting) 53

I am afraid not.

A 60 ton Clan chassis has enough tonnage available, (assuming it moves 1/2/0, has no armour, and utilizes an XL engine with endosteel internals) but lacks the internal critical space necessary to actually fit all of that. (Staring at the design right now in solaris skunkwerks)

Two LBX20's and 4 cStreak6's are pretty hefty firepower though. Even for a Clan heavy. Also, 12 tons of ammo? That is enough for 45 turns of non-stop firing, most matches do not even last 16!

Now, I *could* build a custom mech from scratch that fits some of that, but I decided a better choice would be to take ye old venerable Mad Dog (Vulture for you Freebirths) chassis and rig it with the LBX autocannons, though I was worried it would not fit them AND the ammo. Thankfully, the Mad Dog's design principle follows the 'fuck armor, put more guns on it' school of thought.

I yanked the dual large pulse lasers and LRM20's from the prime variant, and jacked the heatsinks down to the base 12 (It is in no danger of overheating with just these autocannons). This gave me 28 tons to work with. 24 tons for the two LBX20's, and then 4 tons for the ammo. It is not the loadout I would personally take into battle with a Mad Dog, considering its armour, but for a daring young Trueborn out to claim a bloodname, I do not think it is bad.

A 5/8/0 movement curve (reaching ~80kph at a run), enough ammo to fire the autocannons for about 10 turns (1.7 minutes) before running dry, and just enough armour to keep you mostly intact as you close into range. At 1610 battle value (2222 BV with a 3/4 standard Clan Pilot) it is actually pretty dangerous for the price. I also made sure to mix the ammo types - 2 tons cluster and 2 tons slug so that you get your holepunching and sandblasting ability all in one. Additionally, I removed the upper arm actuators to clear out some of the internal crit space in the arms. So not only does the LBX20 assembly manage to fit in just the arm itself, but since it is entirely in the arm and the upper arm actuator has been removed, the arms themselves can completely flip around, making this design even more dangerous in a close quarters fight as you maneuver through a formation and fire *backwards* (Hopefully at the rear armour of your enemy.)

The significant downside to this design is the staying power. Light on armour (But then, all Mad Dog's are) and light on ammo. Once you run dry, there are no backup energy weapons, so you will be left adopting dezgra freebirth tactics like kicking your opponent to death. (*spit*)

Additionally, the design lacks anything to absorb hits in the torso. Any breach of the armour that scores a critical hit is going to either blow out an ammo bin and cripple the mech, or damage the fusion reactor. (Granted, a damaged fusion reactor on this design is not so bad - thanks to the low heat output of the cannons. Even with half the reactor shielding gone, this mech is still going to run cool.)

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 1070

The fact is that there are not infinite resources.

Practically speaking, there ARE infinite resources. The problem is that we are too busy focusing solely on Earth. We have an entire solar system we can exploit for resources. All it requires is a government to think ahead instead of leaving the space industry to flounder.

Comment Re:Sounds 'Too' Good? (Score 5, Insightful) 101

Sounds more to me like you're jumping on a bandwagon and hating what they do regardless of what they do. For example, this quote:

If you really step back and dispassionately look at any measurement—sales, player engagement, hours of online play, performance of DLC—you can absolutely conclude that the potential for this franchise has never been greater.

and you say:

Wow, they sure think highly of themselves. Do they actually use this type of self promotion & recognition internally?

Well you know what bub, was anything they said there actually incorrect? No! It wasn't! The series has a huge playerbase, sells well, engages people for hundreds of hours in multplayer. By every metric they use, the game excels and has the potential to be even better. So how about you set aside your elitist bias and preconceived notion and look at reality when it bites you in the ass. Call of Duty is popular, millions of people like this game, and the execs know that, and judging by this memo they seem to know that they need to improve their product for it to continue selling.

Your entire post can be summarized as: "Stop liking the things I don't like!"

Comment Oh yeah, this is just GREAT (Score 2) 68

Let's use synthetic skin that almost certainly doesn't fully reflect the effects on an actual human or animal!

What if that new face cream you've got turns out to be a contact poison that only effects the liver? This fancy synthetic skin come with a liver? Oh it doesn't?

Sounds to me like a cost cutting measure by the company that is going to result in less safe skin care products, and their marketing is playing off the animal rights angle so people don't question it.

I understand the desire to cut out animal testing, and I fully support that. But the human body is complex, some chemical that makes your skin smooth or clears your nostrils might also cause nerve tissue damage. We quite simply cannot match the complexity of the human body synthetically right now, it is foolish and naive to think that you can test a chemical on only one part of the body and ignore all the other parts because they're not related.

Comment Re:Co-op? (Score 2) 136

How many games these days really do offer co-op gaming? I mean, so far I haven't seen a SINGLE game in years that offers the ability for you to play through the story mode with a friend/spouse/etc. No, they're all just rehashes of CTF or deathmatch, and those are stuffed in every single god damn game, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. But why, oh, why no co-op, ever?

Some of us aren't interested in competitive gaming against random *sshats, instead some of us wish to be able to share the story campaing with a close person. There's plenty of games that actually would offer huge amounts of fun if there was co-op included. A great, deep and insightful story is all the more worth it if you can share the tale with someone, but you don't always even need that; I remember back in the days when Unreal 1 was still new. The story was nothing too fancy or epic, it was mostly just a straight-forward FPS game. But when you set the difficulty level up a notch and joined in a co-op game it felt like a totally new experience compared to single-player. I think we eventually played it through something like 5 or 6 times, simply because it was fun every time.

Or am I just the odd one in the bunch again for wishing for good ol' co-op mode in games?

Um, Halo?

I mean, pretty much every single thing you're pining for is in every Halo game. Shit I can't even count the number of hours I've spent playing co-op through all five of them. On a bang/buck point alone those games have been the single best entertainment purchases I have ever made.

Comment What about Venus?? (Score 1) 145

Why is it always Mars this, Mars that?

In every way, shape, and form, Venus is a better target to explore than Mars.

It is closer to us, it has a thicker atmosphere that allows actual sizable payloads to be landed Unlike Mars, it is closer to the sun with more usable solar energy, it has a habitable zone in its upper atmosphere that is the most earth-like environment within our solar system, it has nearly the same gravity as Earth, and there is SO MUCH we still don't know about Venus.

We could colonize Venus with simple aerostat habitats, essentially floating sky cities or zeppelins, which remain bouyant in the upper venereal atmosphere at Earth-normal pressure and temperature, with said habitats creating water, oxygen, lifting gas, and rocket fuel solely out of the H2SO4 in the atmosphere and power from the sun. We could use the increased solar flux to power orbital factories, smelters, and foundries, while putting mineral-rich asteroids into orbit around Venus for mining - a location where a mistake and planetary impact won't end humanity. We could even Terraform, in a realistic timeframe the upper atmosphere to something that's breathable to humans, and then start seeding it with Earth-based life.

On top of that we can research an environment where a run-away global warming effect has taken place and see how that compares to Earth, and explore an incredibly alien surface with robots, possibly even performing tele-mining operations for materials and resources.

Anything we could do on Mars, we can do on Venus better.

Comment Re:Surprising (Score 1) 279

Sadly, [or not, depending on your outlook] aliens within a hundred lightyears probably won't be able to detect us by our radio signals.

Journalists, knowing very little of science, make the mistake of assuming that the only part of the equation that matters here is the speed the signal travels at, and how long it's been traveling for. Ergo you get "ZOMG we sent out radio signals a hundred years ago, that means anything within a hundred lightyears can see us!"

What they don't seem to consider is the strength of the signal. Thanks to the inverse square law, any signal we blast into the cosmos is going to get fainter and fainter the further it travels. Eventually you get to a distance where the signal is imperceptible above the noise of the universe itself. Now, said aliens could still have some pretty impressive detecting gear - radiotelescopes the size of planets? Who know! But chances are they don't, and we've gone completely unnoticed.

Comment Re:It is all in who the victim is.... (Score 1) 417

Kernell cranked the system up to 11 trying to take down a vice presidential candidate of the US... and got burned. You break the law trying to subvert a presidential election and you should get your ass handed to you.

Except he didn't. I was watching the thread the guy posted on 4chan going "LOL LOOK AT WHAT I GOT ACCESS TO GUISE, SHOULD I POST SOME EMAILS!??!?"

And then he gave everyone the password and some whiteknight immediately changed it and notified the authorities.

You'd think that if he were trying to discredit Palin he would've, oh I don't know, saved all the emails and posted them somewhere? The guy was an idiot, but a malicious idiot he was not. He wasn't part of the "left" he wasn't told to politically assassinate Palin and end her chances at election. He was an idiot who thought it'd be funny to break into a presidential candidates' email and brag about it to people on 4chan. Do you know what the catchphrase "for the lulz?" means? That's what this was at its heart. No more motivation than "oh man it'd be fucking ace if people got to see Palin's emails." She just happened to be the low hanging fruit with a bad password.

It still amazes me how this story has been twisted by demagogues to be completely different from what actually happened.

Comment Re:Maths ? (Score 1) 376

This will be the new Hollywood business model.

a) e) When it bombs, sue 10,000 John Does because you know they can't afford to defend themselves.

Anybody see a flaw?

Yes, actually. You've made the mistake in assuming they're only going to go after people if the movie bombs. They're obviously trying to cover the costs of this movie. [5000 people, each sued for $2900 = $14.5 million, movie cost $15 million] So it's not going to matter if the movie bombs or not, they're going to sue people just because it means covering some of their costs and increasing their overall profit.

Comment Re:Good news and Bad news (Score 1) 204

The moon is the El Dorado of helium-3

This is a commonly parroted meme, but it's simply not true. Helium 3 on the moon measures about 0.01ppm - you need to dig up around 100 million tons of lunar regolith to get one ton of Helium-3. Sorry to say, that's neither cost effective nor net-energy positive. The moon will never be mined for Helium-3. Ever. Especially not when there are multiple gas-giants in our solar system with Helium-3 floating in their atmosphere's that could simply be scooped up.

Comment Re:Just a few points... (Score 4, Insightful) 265

While I agree there are some issues with freedom therein, I can also see how taking control of motor vehicles out of the hands of the general person, and into the hands of a computer is going to massively improve safety.

Think of all the dangerous maneuvers and careless driving you've seen. That will be no more - speeds on highways can be increased, distances between cars can be decreased. You won't be driving the car yourself anymore, but you'll get to your destination faster and more safely than you do now.

Anyways, I very much doubt manually driving a vehicle will ever disappear. Driving is fun, it's something people enjoy - what this will simply do is eliminate all those times you wouldn't have fun driving, by giving control over to the computer whenever you feel like stopping.

Comment Re:Mostly laughable concept. (Score 1) 163

how much [Helium 3] is there on the moon?

Not enough to be worth mining. At about 0.01ppm, you need to mine a hundred million tons of lunar regolith to get one ton of Helium 3, this doesn't even begin to count the energy required to extract the helium.

It's basically pointless to mine, you'd spend more energy extracting what little there is than you'd get from using it as fuel in fusion reactors we haven't even invented yet. Nevermind the logistics required in mining a hundred million tons of rock on the MOON.

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy