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Comment Math a science? (Score 1) 1747

The original poster is already too confused to be able to do much with science if he puts Mathematics into that category.

What we consider math is a group of widely divergent philosophies sharing certain basic symbols for their expression. Of course, science is also in a similar state but it usualy has the additional characteristic of being applied to a physical universe in order to classify data.

Even though the application of math in science does allow for usable approximations of physical universe phenomenon, it has no direct relation to the physical universe itself.

Comment Re:The "bandwidth hogs" aren't using TCP (Score 1) 497

This analysis of TCP is extremely flawed.

TCP doesn't limit the amount of data sent if there is packet loss. This will only limit the amount of new data sent. TCP will continue resending data that hasn't been acknowledged as being received.

When there is network connection, the server doesn't send you less data, it only appears you are receiving less data per unit of time due to the packet loss.

Comment TCP isn't really self-limiting as described (Score 1) 497

The technical analysis of how TCP works is a bit flawed. Dropped packets from the server to the client show up as unacked bits in the stream being sent. The server will have a limit of how many bits it will send from the previous acked bit. Thus, if it stops receiving acks, it will continue to resend data that was sent previously but un-acked. Thus, the server does not reduce the number of packets it is sending, it just keeps re-sending data that has not been acked. The only rate limiting in TCP is the rate of 'new' data sent.

There are also other conditions that occur that break this assumption that TCP will slow everyone down equally. Any effects of TCP self-limiting its rate of transfer will only impact long connections, not connections that are established for a short period... such as an http get/response on a small file, DNS requests, etc.

Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

Comment Re:Why is climate science being politicized? (Score 2, Interesting) 882

It is actually pretty simple. There are very popular economic theories that indicate that you control the flow of money by controlling what people are afraid of. Climate science would be a much smaller field with a lot less attention, money for grants and political debates if it wasn't sensationalized.

Also, look at how scientific data (data obstensibly gained through competent scientists following the scientific methods we learned in high school) winds up being consumed by the public. Being able to say you are green is a huge factor in marketing consumer products, without any regulations to explain exactly how your product impacts the climate less.

The real truth of the matter is that climatologists actually understand very little and are operating off modeling systems that can't track all factors and do not accurate predict results. I have yet to hear of a computer model that can take data from the 80s and accurately roll it forward to mirror today's climate.

Comment Microtransactions and casual, social gaming (Score 1) 95

Over the last few months, I have heard a lot about what is causing microtransaction games such a hard time and what is preventing them from being profitable; either through the lack of a solid microtransaction method, such as with mobile app based games to things like this where it is scammers that are affecting the market. My experiences playing Evony pointed out something to me. In order for a microtransaction game to succeed, it has to have #1) enjoyable game play regardless of whether someone chooses to engage in microtransactions and #2) not implement microtransactions so that it just over-balances the gameplay in favor of those willing to spend money.

This can be extended out to any game that has in-game currency that can be potentially traded for real life currency, including WoW, even though Blizzard strictly frowns upon it. In WoW, you can make your character stronger with less effort but not in a way that changes the game for you or for others other than you will have to spend less time 'farming' for stuff yourself.

In Evony, there was a ranking system that controlled how many cities you could control. You were able to move up the ranks by finding medals and turning them in to complete quests to get the next ranks. You can get these medals in game but they were extremely rare. There were other things you could buy to speed up various aspects of the game or do other minor things, like changing your name but the main draw were the medals. So, finally I put some money into it and stopped playing the game all together shortly after because I discovered that having more cities didn't fix the aspect of the game that was disappointing me. It was a PvP game that heavily favored defense over offense so the best strategy was to just build up your defenses and appear strong enough to not get attacked. You would need to be roughly 5x - 10x stronger than an enemy to be able to knock out their defenses, assuming equal knowledge in what to build... not a fun system and not one fixed by microtransactions.

Many people continue to make massive amounts of profit through selling gold in WoW despite many games trying to monetize off similar transactions as part of their systems. Problems with microtransactions aren't what is killing them... it is the lack of a compelling game in the first place.

Comment Re:The game (Score 1) 201

I play a very similar game called Evony.

I am currently ranked just outside the top 100 without ever spending any money, with a full time job, etc.

In WoW, I am a very competitive PVE player and consider myself highly skilled and highly geared. I have never bought gold.

There is a certain sector of gamers who are willing to either pull ahead by spending real live money or maintain a pace of a serious player without a serious schedule.

I have yet to see this ruin my ability to remain competitive in a game. It can lead to one making up excuses and getting discouraged faster than if they believed there was an even field of competition.

The vast majority of gamers in these games just want a free, fun game. However, that sector that will pay more for in-game benefits is enough to make this a workable model.

Comment Re:We all have broken the law (Score 1) 207

Well, it looks like the guilty until proven innocent is a bit of a blown up myth/propaganda. I have done some research that backs up what you state. It appears Napoleon was concerned about improper imprisonment before trial and explicitly states you are innocent until you are declared guilty by a cort of law.

However, now that I think about it... the way it was explained to me was that the difference was in the burden of proof. In the US, guilt has to be proven with evidence beyond a 'reasonable doubt'. In other words, if there is still a plausible scenario that leaves the accused innocent, he should legally walk. It was explained to me that in French law, it works differently where you have to do a much clearer job of proving your innocence.

I believe that is where the phrase 'guilty until proven innocent' come from because you do actually have to prove your innocence in court while in the U.S, you just have to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution.

Interesting to hear that the French Academy doesn't really mandate the French language as much as it probably thinks it does. I do feel that French is a much more consistent language than English is. I don't know how much of that is just from the evolution and influences of the language or how much of it stems from the French Academy.

Thank you for spotting my typo and interpreting it correctly.

I find it interesting that you bring up a lack of concern over privacy. In the U.S., I think there are a lot of concerns when it comes to privacy, especially surrounding identity theft and government and law enforcement agency.

Some of the things that occurred after 9/11 may give a different apparency, such as the establishment of our Department of Homeland Security. What a great way for paranoid rulers to keep their eyes on the populace.

I think you will find different Americans have widely varying opinions on these issues.

I don't know if this is an issue in France but in America, your average citizen is not good at analyzing data and its sources for reliability. People are willing to accept anything at face value if it comes from a 'proper' source, such as the news media. Thus, we wind up with a lot of things as public 'knowledge' that are really kind of crazy.

Comment Re:We all have broken the law (Score 1) 207

France is quite a bit different legally than the US. They still operate under Napoleonic law which puts the burden of proof on the defense, not the prosecution. In others words, you are guilty until proven innocent.

They also do not have a Bills of Rights as broad as ours. They do not have seperation of church and state. At one point, there was a board responsible for monitoring members of minority religions. This may still be in existence but I do not know for sure. It is illegal to congregate in public without a permit. Thus, it is illegal to form a peaceful protest demonstration or even go to the movie with 10 friends (technically). There are laws that are passed that broad, standard application would be impossible. However, the intent is usually to allow legal action to be taken against forces that may have things to say or do that threaten the national government.

They also have the French Academy, a body established by King Louis XIII which passes rulings on what officially is correct French. In other words, even their language is dictated by a centralized body where other languages are dictated by the active use of those communicating with the language.

In France, the populace has a much different relationship with the government than Americans do with theirs.

Having the right of the accuser to be present during proceedings taken away is one that will impact their civil liberties. However, the French standard for civil liberties is much lower.

Comment very important omitted factor from study (Score 1) 882

Traffic accidents cause traffic jams.

People driving in unpredictable fashions increase the risk of accidents.

The increased accident rate of 40% of people ignoring rules would have an inverse impact that would outweigh any optimal reactions to existing jams.

This is not the result of a scientific experiment. This is the result of common sense based on my daily commute, including my experience as a motorcyclist.

XBox (Games)

Gamerscore Hacking and Its Underground Economy 85

An anonymous reader writes "There's a writeup on SpywareGuide that explores the world of Xbox Gamerscore hacking, and how high Gamerscores are proving to be a big target for hackers and phishers. It also talks about how a recent release of a Gamerscore-altering program onto forums for hacking & cheating is proving to be lucrative business for both eBay sellers and those who want to artificially inflate a Gamerscore before selling that account, or trading it for credit card details."

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 514

I completely agree that the Japanese have demonstrated themselves as the great borrowers. The Chinese show a similar trend but to a much lesser degree.

I still don't see any evidence presented that this is true in this particular case though. I am sure that suicide is probably a more acceptable answer to losses of honor in China or anywhere in the East than in the West. They have entirely different concepts in regards to how to value life or death than we do.

I think the most succinct statement of this difference is that the Western approach to life is to conquer it by hitting it hard (hunter approach) and the Eastern approach is to endure (farmer approach).

Having said all that, can you provide any data on what sort of factor honor-based suicide is in present-day China or are you extrapolating from other known data?

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 514

Well, then we can't really know much about anything about this. This guy may have actually have been murdered the security personnel and it was made to look like a suicide and that most reported suicides are actually covers for murders in China.

This story may all be made up just to tarnish Apple's reputation. What sort of fact checking is it possible to do on stories that come out of China?

One thing that I will point out is that it is interesting that the words we use for ritual suicide after a loss of shame, 'seppuku', is a Japanese word and goes back to a samurai tradition. To my knowledge, there never were Chinese samurai.

This concept of committing suicide after a loss of face continues to remain a Japanese concept in my eyes, not a Chinese one.

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