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Comment What Would Epic Fail Look Like? (Score 4, Funny) 534

Folks toss about the phrase "Epic Fail" far too loosely. Here's what a real Epic Fail looks like:

The DRM code has a bug that, when a certain condition happens (time passes, specially-formulated packet received, etc.), it overclocks the CPU to the point that it catches on fire. Within minutes of the event, most of the millions of PS3s in the wild have set peoples' homes ablaze.

As a result, thousands die and the insurance industry collapses. Anarchy reigns, so there's nobody to enforce copyright anymore and the original DRM is rendered irrelevant.

THAT is an epic fail.

Comment Endgame Cinema (Score 1) 418

The explanation is simple. The plucky young upstart warrior (and perhaps the rest of his party) just defeated the final boss using his strongest-ever attack. One involving, say, exploding materia*.

What everyone saw was just the endgame cutscene for that (at a safe distance, of course).

* Materia is a Final Fantasy VII term. Substitute your favorite mystical RPG energy thingy here if you like.

Comment Re:Public Service Anouncement (Score 1) 709

...the fact that Catholics believe you can buy your way out of sin...

Whoa, there, Martin Luther. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I know the church is hardly perfect and that there have been plenty of problems both past and present, but I don't believe the buying of indulgences has been an actual issue within the last couple hundred years.

We Catholics owe a debt of gratitude to Martin Luther for pointing out (vociferously) many of our old problems, but...

I'm pretty sure the Spanish Inquisition is over, as well. Want to blame present-day Catholics for that, too?

...the head of the church is the pope - not Christ

Who says? Again, I'm hardly a perfect Catholic, but I'm pretty sure nobody ever said "ignore this Christ guy--the pope's where it's at" at any point. Believe it or not, we Catholics are Christians, despite what various (misinformed) non-Catholic Christians might believe. We just have a larger bureaucracy :-)

Does the Catholic Church have problems? You bet. Tons. Most of them related to being a huge, largely-decentralized *, and very forgiving ** organization. We do *not*, however, believe in the sale of indulgences or in the non-primacy of Christ. If you insist on attacking us, please do so with at least 20th century problems, not with 14th century ones.

* - Each individual diocese has a surprisingly large degree of autonomy from Rome. Hence the reason some dioceses dealt with the pedofile priest problem better than others.

** - Believe it or not, both the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition ended a long time ago. We tend to be a pretty forgiving lot nowadays.

Comment Re:Celsius: It's for telling temperature (Score 1) 1233

Take one meter. Make a cube of that side, a cubic meter. Fill that with water near the sea level and you get a volume of 1 kiloLiter of water. Which happens to have a mass of 1 Megagram.

There. Fixed that for you. A 10cm-cube of water is 1l = 1kg. What you mentioned is 1,000 times larger.

Comment Re:Better Than Grep (Score 1) 641

Mod parent up.

My life has gotten SO much better since I started using ack(1). Key features:

  • By default, it ignores files that should be ignored (binaries, cvs/svn/whatever files), which makes for MUCH faster searches.
  • Significantly better display options and other "do what I mean" sanity.
  • Pure perl and therefore uses Perl regexes.
  • You can restrict searches to files of a specific general type ("ack --php" searches only .php .phpt .php3 .php4 .php5, e.g.).

No disclaimer necessary--I'm not involved with development, just a really happy user.

Comment Re:Logitech Marble Mouse (Score 1) 569

Gotta second this. You get awesome control (since IMO fingers are better at fine motor control than thumbs are), little arm motion, and great stability in a relatively small package.

Plus you confound normal mouse-users, so they're tempted to just leave your machine alone. The cable is USB and PS/2 (cheapie adapter included). I don't think a wireless version is available, but that's generally the case with trackballs AFAIK.

Comment Mod Parent Up! (Score 4, Interesting) 370

Aah, if I only had mod points.

I set up some labs with bench space a while back and used exclusively 19" monitors with VESA arms. The space under the monitor becomes usable (since there's no stand in the way) and the adjustability (and ability to just shove the monitor to the side when not in use) is invaluable. This gets even better with 2x stands.

Oh, and with many brackets, you can mount them from above instead of below, too.

Comment Re:Now really think about it... (Score 1) 133

1. I'd rather avoid a collision than survive it. Smaller cars tend to be easier to manuever, so...

2. Larger cars tend to cost more and have more safety features as a result. I genuinely suspect it's dollars more than intrinsic size that determine any safety advantage that larger cars have here.

Comment Re:Don't kid yourelves (Score 1) 716

So, here's a case where the kid does well on tests, usually getting As and Bs, but consistently gets Fs overall. He knows the material better than most of his peers, but is failing.

I wasn't quite that bad, but I was pretty lazy growing up. I don't know that I have a great deal of advice to hand out, but I can tell the (extremely abridged) version of my life story:

  1. Graduated in the top 10% of my high school class. Barely.
  2. Went on to a state school.
  3. Started failing classes because, while smart, I had no work ethic.
  4. Went out into the real world for a while (sold computers, tech support, etc.).
  5. After building up a work ethic, went back to school part time, moved to Silicon Valley.
  6. After years as a full-time worker/part-time student, I graduated as the CS department's graduating senior of the year in 2008--after first starting college in 1992(!).
  7. I now work as a reasonably well-paid software engineer and (even in this economy) have 2-4 recruiters per week bugging me.

Until I figured out how to put my head down, concentrate and get sh*t done, I was in many ways only half a person. No matter how smart you are, you're likely to get no traction without the ability and patience to do the work. Sorry, but that's the way it is. I wish you the best of luck with your son--it was only by the grace of being independent and responsible for my own life that I learned the value of hard work.

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