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Comment Re:China (Score 1) 593

Very soon--perhaps even already--China will be the premier center of stem cell research in the world. They are making enormous advances, due to their strong economic position and their lack of being hindered by religious conservatives or a two-party system. Researchers will go there, all the intellectual work will flock to China because they can get their funding and have the collaboration they need. And the US will become a short-lived historical footnote, an intellectual backwater led by a corrupt plutocracy, filled with ignorant evangelical nutjobs and greedy corporatists. Americans are stupid, greedy, short-sighted, superstitious, easily cowed, lazy, obsessed with violence and sex, and fiscally irresponsible.

Make no mistake: I do not condone China's abhorrent record on human rights, politics, foreign policy, censorship, or the environment. I especially despise the way they have so brilliantly manipulated the US into conflicts with other countries and have essentially commandeered the global economy. But they have only done this because, again, Americans are too stupid and played right into the trap.

Welcome to Costco, I love you.

Comment one of the up and coming tea party types... (Score 1) 634

one of the up and coming tea party types will be the next joe mccarthy. they will use this sort of paranoid schizophrenic break with reality to describe "secret muslims" (that's what obama is, ya know), "secret socialists", "secret fascists", etc. taken on their own, theses hysterical creative inventions are like a farcical hollywood movie. but so many actually and truly believe this crap

One of the up and coming tea party types is already here, you actually described him perfectly: Glenn Beck.


Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Comment Re:Another area where developers fail (Score 1) 260

I work in the industry and I can tell you that developers from the President down to the QA all play as much and more games with a critical eye towards "innovation" or whatever word you want to call it, than the average gamer.

We're making a sequel? Yep, we read all the reviews of the first version, all the forum posts, all the complaints and then we report on the feedback. Sometimes it's considered, other times (like the ridiculous thread above about JRPG's and FF) it's a complete waste of time. You know, tight schedules and budgetary problems might mean, damn we can't put in that new mechanic, or we spent X hours developing this new system but now it's breaking and it has become a liability. I mean there are a ton of constraints for any project from the engine level up to usability that are considered in any title that is a moderate success. I mean, if you are making a sequel that was green-lighted by a publisher you are ALREADY nearing the middle of your production cycle while the first one is on the shelves in a lot of cases. That also makes it difficult to add 'insert ZOMG awesome feature'. Sure, in a perfect world we would release the first version and wait until we got all of the data on it - was it good, was it successful, what was really, really bad, what will we avoid like the plague? Sure, but that's not how the industry likes to operate. I don't necessarily agree with it all the time but hey, that's life. Maybe it'll change, or maybe not- who knows. If anything, games are moving the same direction as big movies -- oligopolies and consolidation of the monster sized studios which control a majority of content. It ain't pretty and trust me, I at least, do not welcome it.

It's a numbers game, for every person who is going to LOVE a new feature there's going to be its detractors. You can't please everyone but you can still make a damn good game that a majority of people will enjoy. I mean, are there blatant examples of developers being out of touch? Hm, MAYBE. But because of the nature of this industry, if you're a developer and you somehow have creative control over a mechanic or a design for a game and you are slipping up that bad you WILL be weeded out and sent packing. . . eventually. The industry can't afford you/that!

I think you have made such a statement because you perceive the problem -- exhibit A = a horrendous game that ignores an obvious solution, but really what you will never know is that the lead designer was laid off in the middle of production and a new lead took over and because of the contract in place he had to make some tough decisions and re-write half of the mechanics in the game because "he" thought they were shitty and a couple people agreed (e.g. the Publisher). Shrug. Happens all the time.

Bad games get made for a ton of real, rational reasons. We don't always have a lot of time to play every single new game, I'll give you that, we are stupid busy. But, we know about them, we know people who made them (they're our friends), and we are always keeping an eye out on the Latest and the Greatest (tm).

Comment Re:Hmm have I seen this before?? (Score 1) 260

Homosexuals have a different brain structure that is most likely caused by hormonal exposure while in the womb. The jury is still out on the *exact* process/processes that lead to homosexuality, but it's almost universally accepted by the scientific community that homosexuality does have a biological origin.

I learned this in 1998 from my MIT professor in Biopsychology -- people (like the same people who don't believe dinosaurs existed) still like to hem and haw that being gay is simply a lifestyle choice but really, it's not. Any heterosexual couple is capable of giving birth to a completely homosexual child.

Comment Re:VA better watch out! (Score 1) 779

A lot of people are talking about "how bad it is getting" and yeah, I'd say in some instances, sure, the economy seems bad. Hmm. . . rouge countries with nuclear weapons -- yeah, bad. GOP congressmen saying there are 17 socialists in the House. The humanity!

Majorities come and go, and they tend to say the same exact things. It's really kind of exhausting. Maybe it will get out of hand. . . at least that would be less predictable and more exciting.

Joking aside, what scares me is that there are a lot more of "them" than us who are willing to listen to the bombastic rhetoric and take it truly to heart -- much of it laced with the most amazing revisionist and gross misinterpretation of basic history I've ever heard.

It's just another bump in the road my friend, a road that was considered long ago. . . Polybius actually wrote about such a thing via Plato and Aristotle -- see anacyclosis.

I wish more people would consider some lessons of the past, the REAL past, and not the one that is being manufactured as we go.


Submission + - Are the 3 Laws of Robotics Enough? (

richard tarantula writes: A robot last week made the first steps towards becoming truly autonomous. Inquiring minds want to know: When will the machines rise up and kill us all? interviews P.W. Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and consultant to the Pentagon. His book, "Wired for War" is reviewed here. From the review: "What would happen if a military force could field an army of robots? Singer notes the scary possibility that in today's media-rich environment, there is the possibility that people will go to war because there are few immediate consequences." P.S. He hates Ewoks.

Comment Re:If you are still at the prototype stage (Score 1) 262

There's one thing though to keep in mind (as I tested these waters for a software project when I was a student) depending on the university (public/private) and what sorts of bylaws they have regarding creation of intellectual property, you may have to design a specific contract to get around these clauses (if possible) which may state that any participation in such a project WHILE they are student automatically transfers rights to the University. We managed to have a post-grad optical physicist sign an NDA and a contract with us though no work he did was actually ever "transferred" or utilized by us, as the question was still not clear as to whether any work he would undertake would actually belong to him or the university.

The university I dealt with in particular had a "commercial arm" which dealt with projects created by faculty etc., and sought to commercialize these efforts. You may want to see if something like that exists -- at the very least you could get a fair review on the merits of your project (and yes they did sign an NDA).

But anyway, what could ensue is a messy legal problem. My advice would be to make sure you carefully read the research rules and provisions and, if you're up for it, have a sit down with the equivalent of the research provost and/or their legal counsel or you may be finding yourself sitting down with them anyway!

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