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Comment Re:so that's it... (Score 1) 96

Your comment reminded me of an anecdote that apparently, some soldiers in the WWI trenches on both sides intentionally shot to miss. Perhaps when you override that - I'd imagine eventually you do - the amygdala's "firmware" has been altered and one factor of PTSD has possibly been identified.

It makes me think of the initiation/acceptance rituals into certain gangs and crime families where you must kill a man. Then your altered social circuits bond you to other murderers who are your new brothers, and all others outside of the gang are now well and truly the "outsiders". Meaning it's easier to commit greater atrocities for whatever cause driven by a sense of loyalty, tribe and brotherhood.

It would be fascinating if they could get child soldiers from conflicts in Africa in a study like this. One could really get a grasp of what that does to an amygdala when it's not even finished growing. If any person has severe PTSD, it would be a kid who didn't get to grow up "normal".

Comment Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (Score 1) 105

Well if the real thrill is designing the stuff in the software rather than the printing it out in 3D and want someone else to do it, there is Shapeways. They have several types of plastic and metal to choose from as the RPT material. YMMV for how cost effective it is. I've seen some very cool custom W40K figures made for about the same cost as the stuff in the shops.

An AC mentioned eMachineShop that tends toward more old-school milling and cutting. I figure a very cool resource if you do scale model projects that need an exotic cam or bolt with tight tolerances that a plastic extruder can't give.

From personal experience, AutoCAD Inventor is really easy to use for Shapeways. Blender gave me a headache trying to keep things within size limits and to have some sort of meaningful metric discipline throughout. Sometimes just paying for the right tool is better than trying to force a free tool to do something extra.

Comment Re:Its a shame (Score 1) 113

Here where? Based on Slashdot generally being US-ian, do you mean in the United States? This might end up being a very useful random factoid for later retrieval.

Would you say that the specific state this legal action occurs in has a large or a small influence on the proceedings? I can't imagine something like this going higher than state level.

Comment Re:Ron Paul (Score 1) 565

I think it's because they - the "old men", the gnomes of Zurich, the PNAC advocates, Bob Page and Walton Simons et al - actually do realize what freedom of speech and the 4th Estate and human rights mean in terms of impeding their personal agendas, and so it isn't in their interests to empower or uphold it.

I recommend this article by zunguzungu wordpress showing that all the attention has been wrongly directed at Assange. It is a classic "look over there, that's more interesting!' distraction. Also the best independent personal commentary on this whole Wikileaks mess that I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Comment Re:There's a really useful aspect to these. (Score 1) 298

These autonomous sentries are a lot easier to spot and deactivate...

Therein lies one of the reasons land-mines (and by extension, IEDs) won't go away. For a fraction of the price of a single turret, a third world military can give a superior land force a real headache. Land-mines are an immense bitch to detect and neutralize reliably and at speed. I do look forward to the day that whole game changes completely. I'm sure there's some quantum weirdness-based sensor technology around about the time quantum computers finally work that will make land-mines and IEDs obsolete.

Whoever invents the flawless land-mine/IED detector should immediately receive a Nobel Prize.

Then it's time to look forward to the guy who discovers the Holtzmann effect, allowing personal shield technology that stops bullets and shrapnel, that causes a localized anti-matter/nuclear explosion when hit with coherent light above a minimum critical wattage and forces soldiers to fight hand-to-hand again. I don't know what prize to give that guy but it better be awesome.

Comment Re:Respect (Score 1) 1020

Just a shot in the dark, but when you have a site like WikiLieaks, there's going to be some greasing of the palms I'd imagine. If I were him, a good portion of that capital immediately went into a "Plan B" or even a "Dead Man's Trigger" scenario for the very reasons you point out in your second paragraph.

Comment Re:Of course... (Score 1) 542

This fits right in with the hints that Singapore is currently in the process of redeveloping itself as a data center haven.

It's not a bad idea. Highly educated workforce, stable government that is business-friendly, an economy that's kept it's head above water in both a recent recession and the Asian currency crisis. It's also in a prime geographical location, sitting between India, Australia, HK, China, Korea and Japan, plus all the other Asian countries yet to have their internet infrastructure mature.

Disadvantage? Sure. There's a "little firewall of Singapore" that slows everything down and screws up certain services that don't work through a proxy. But that will change. The latest advertising gimmicks from Singapore-based internet providers now have premium tiers that have "guaranteed overseas speeds". It's quite funny really.

Comment Re:The west (Score 1) 84

I'm replying to AC, so I know it's very likely a waste of time, but in case anybody comes across this comment, I must say that jokes aside, China does have a pretty vibrant game dev scene.

Unfortunately it is extreme bias - lingual mostly - that means no one in the "West" sees Chinese games. Just go to any Popular Bookstore in Singapore, head to the games section, and you'll see a dozen or so Mandarin language games that include a 3 Kingdoms clone, an MMO called Granado Espada that is exclusively Far East Asian in distribution, and a ton of Chinese RPGs.

The bias is a real shame because there is this absolutely awesome 3 Kingdoms collectible card game which was specifically designed with an arcade machine laid out like a tabletop board game. You place your cards on it according to the rules, the table somehow recognises the cards and your cards' units appear on a screen in real-time. Moving your armies consists of physically moving the card around the tabletop, pro rated for that unit's speed. Special moves are done with card gestures like describing a tight circle or repeatedly "bashing" the location of an enemy unit where you believe it appears on the tabletop. It's genius! I think Magic: The Gathering would be absolutely amazing if it had this variation.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter what he did (Score 1) 465

I hope whoever thought we needed a series of Stargate: Relationship Drama and No Action got fired..

They could stay with the Drama but No Action formula, but ship over the writers who do the South Korean dramas which have literally-frothing-at-the-mouth rabid fans across all of Asia, language barrier notwithstanding, and always seem to be able to tell their story within a single season of 20 or so episodes.

There must be something universal in their tropes or stories that hooks people across all cultural barriers and it might just be a good story as well. I mean, it's not like the actors and actresses are any prettier or any better at acting, and they achieve a lot with just a crew set up in a soundstage apartment, office and the occasional exterior shot.

Heck, maybe even do something crazy like commission the manga-ka who wrote Kimagure Orange Road or even Sailor Moon to write a story outline and flesh it out for TV. Couldn't possibly end up worse than what's already on air.

I'm imagining a Tim Curry as an aged Tuxedo Moon, taking on an apprentice to pass on the super secret skills of his "Magic Tackle" and his "Mask with Lazors" and a new female guest star every week to be saved with their massive phallic starship of "mysterious orifice".....oh and origin. Every episode is "We're gonna die, let's have sex...OH! The ship saved us....sorry, gotta dump you now..."

Comment Re:Next step? (Score 1) 391

Oh to have perfect recall! I would have provided a link.
There was a BBC radio show called Forum that interviewed someone using MRI to study the relationship between the written language and the brain. He refines your statement by saying that oral communication not only developed very early, but that we are also genetically hardwired to have it. Every known human community - no matter how primitive or isolated - has a spoken language and an oral tradition.

This was indirectly supported when the MRIs showed not one but two parts of the brain involved in the activity of reading. It was a part of the visual cortex that dealt with pattern-finding that then communicated with the part of the brain that dealt with oral communication. That link does not exist unless the owner of the brain is born and raised in a literate society. In an illiterate subject, those two parts of the brain do not talk each other when presented with writing.

You see, there isn't actually a part of the brain that deals with "reading". It's actually 2 parts of the brain - one for finding patterns in the environment or nature and the other for creating meaningful noises with syntax - co-opted into something neither was actually designed for.

The concept of an alphabet, the written word or a formalized system of pictoglyphs that actually communicate more than just sacred dates or gods is in comparison, not at all as inevitable. It took ages before the "cornstalk slashes on clay" of Sumeria actually became something more.

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