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Comment Most of this will be about internal politics (Score 4, Interesting) 519

Far east Asian foreign policy is even more about playing off internal factions than it is in the West. I bet this is just a case of the Chinese making nasty noises in the hope that a) somebody will be placated, and b) Japan will know this and just play along until things die down.

The chances of nukes and bang bangs over this are very, very low. See also North Korea.

Comment Re:So, time to scrap TSA/airport security checks (Score 5, Interesting) 208

It is true that they may now start to resort to tactics that were not imaginable just a few years ago, ...

The sooner you realise that your attitude to a minuscule terrorist threat is actually the problem here, the better.

I would suggest you are suffering from a form of mental illness similar to that of obsessive compulsives who refuse to touch door handles for fear of picking up "germs". You cannot see the obvious facts for what they are: there is no significant threat from terrorism, and there never was one. The fact that you are willing to drive around in cars, or ride on the subway when a) there is a far higher risk of you dying from non-terrorist causes doing that (and pretty preventable causes too, given TSA-like funding) and b) terrorists could just as easily attack those as well, is plainly deluded when the price you pay in return for "safety" on a plane is so utterly disproportionate.

The sheer Owellian nature of what is going on in the minds of Americans like you is amazing. Land of the free? Don't make me laugh.

Comment Let it die (Score 1, Interesting) 332

My last few remaining microns of sympathy for Linux, evaporated not long ago when I read Lennart Poettering encouraging everyone around him, to throw POSIX under the bus. I'm aware that Linux developers have viewed the system's relationship with older UNIX, in roughly the same manner as a venereal disease since probably 2000; in a sense, it surprised me that it took that long for someone to actually come out and say it openly.

Linux has completely gone to shit; and not in the "yes it causes me to rage, but I'm still putting up with it," sense, but the "I now feel so much contempt and disgust for it that I've washed my hands, and can no longer be remotely bothered," sense.

Linux's developers these days, are a bunch of ivory tower elitists, who in reality have no idea what they are doing, but who have the attitude that everyone else using the system can just shut up and take what they are given, and if the rest of us don't like it, then that is just too damn bad. Lennart Poettering, again, is the main offender when it comes to this sort of thinking, but it has also always characterised the GNOME developers as well.

GNOME should have been recognised as a mess, and rewritten from scratch, before Canonical got hold of it. The problem there is that you have people who are using Microsoft Windows as their template, and so they think that making everything opaque and hard welded together, is somehow the "professional," way to do things. Graphical user interfaces don't *need* to be a bloated pile of shit; it's just that Windows is, and Linux people now are determined to copy Windows.

I've been learning about FORTH, recently; and about the idea of (in languages which are designed for it, at least) writing one function per file, and having said function consist of no more than 500 bytes each. FORTH was the product of an era in which programmers actually knew what they were doing; unlike today, when computer science graduates emerge from university with their heads densely packed full of bovine fecal matter, such as the idea that programs should be as long and complex as possible, rather than short and simple.

But there's no point. There's no point arguing with any of you. You'll just mod me down, and tell me that Ubuntu is great, and GNOME is superb, and Poettering is a genius. So go ahead. Have fun.

Comment A reasonable critique of Gates's philanthropy (Score 4, Insightful) 445

This is worth a read:


Gates's and others' philanthropy prolongs poverty by sowing as it does the seed of more inequality (in Gates's case, through the formation of health policies in the third world that make it easier for Western drug companies to open up markets for treatments there). They give away the fruit, but never the trees.

As Oscar Wilde observed of the philanthropists of his era: ‘They seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see in poverty, but their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it.’ Then and now, as Wilde said, ‘the proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.’

This is really the question that needs to be addressed: why is poverty still possible - and why can it even get worse - after 200 years of Gates's capitalism? Surely by now if capitalism was the answer, we'd not be where we are today.

Comment Re:And a pony. (Score 1) 161

You'll get back great useful answers back like: "It should be "better", cost a dollar, have all possible features we could ever possibly use, but we only really use 5% of them, but it has to be so easy to use nobody needs training, and a pony".

Generic and conflicting requirements that are frankly useless.

As a developer, would you like to deal with this reality? If not, let a designer do it because what you regard as "useless" is part of the raw material of improvement for them - they are paid to make sense of "make it better".

I would wager there are not enough hours in the day to research and interpret user needs AND write code. Designers are there for a reason (and if they're not researching, observing and interpreting, then they are shit). Whenever developers ask me to get them more involved with the people who will use their software, I always warn them to be careful what they wish for. But they usually only turn up to the first couple of research sessions :-(

Comment Re:Mobile app observation. (Score 1) 161

Hi - I'm a designer. What you describe is a property of computer interaction called "feedback." In principle (and design principles are important), you should always try to provide feedback to any input, regardless of whether that input is "useful" to the user or not. It means the machine is paying attention. That you have observed an unexpected input is a nice discovery. If you want, you too can build an entire career on doing this - because that's what I've done, and now I'm generally too busy and wealthy to read /. any more. But this story caught my eye.

Comment Re:Wikileaks = Terrorist Organization (Score 1) 194

Citation needed.

Please don't use the citation needed troll. Yes, the person you're responding to is a fairly typical brainwashed American, but that response implies that you are someone who doesn't believe anything, unless it comes to them second-hand.

You wouldn't want us to think that, would you?

Comment Re:Julian Assange = Useful Idiot (Score 2) 194

Assange was chosen because of his sociopathic personality.

Agreed. Assange is a melodramatic narcissist. As much as he might be railing about the fact that the film will portray him negatively, I can assure everyone here that he probably also masturbates on a regular basis, to the thought that anyone associated with the government has made a film about him at all.

Assange is an archetypical grey hat. I used to know a few of them on IRC in the mid to late 1990s. They are sociopathic vermin, and completely without any vague semblance of honour; but because of the dependence we now have on computers, they think they are God.

If you are wondering whether or not to view either Assange or Snowden as legitimate, then I can tell you one very important detail. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, becomes prominent, viral, or in any way noticed on the Internet by accident. It never happens. "Organic," or grassroots Internet publicity is a lie. The only reason why anyone like Assange or Snowden becomes well known, is because it is arranged by the psychopaths. They want you to believe that anyone can become known, but I can assure you that the opposite is true. If you want publicity, you can't afford to seriously offend anyone, because you want the big people and the psychopaths to spend money on getting fake YouTube views for you, and all of the other dirty tactics they use.

You have to be a complete sellout morally, and you also have to be someone who they will find useful in some way. If you have both of those characteristics, then yes, they will make you famous; but they will also own you, and they will destroy you if you do anything that they do not like.

Comment One thing I've always found interesting... (Score 0) 537 the fact that while Americans condemn Islamic barbarity, their own society is quite literally the most degenerate in human history.

The emphasis is different, of course. Islam focuses on preservation of the collective, or society, at the expense of the individual. America focuses on the preservation of the individual, at the expense of the collective.

Both are imbalanced; but what I find distressing is the fact that, as usual, Americans are only capable of identifying what is wrong with other cultures, rather than acknowledging the fact that, in many cases, entirely equally pathological elements exist within their own.

You might not have judges handing out sentences like this, no; but you do have school and shopping center shootings. The end result is inhumanity, either way.

Comment Worthless research, due to bias (Score 0, Troll) 205

Inclusion of women in everything, entirely for its' own sake, is politically correct at the moment. We need to take that kind of prevailing bias into account, when reading about "research," like this.

There have been numerous female authors who've written revisionist history in a number of other areas, such as historical witch burning and the influence of women in paleolithic societies in other areas. Most of it is unfalsifiable at best, and garbage at worst.

Do not believe any scientific research which claims results that are consistent with prevailing social biases. The reason why, is because such research is unfalsifiable, by definition. You cannot prove whether or not said bias was not involved, in obtaining the result.

Comment The point is intimidation, not enforcement (Score 1) 318

SR users are not being busted now, so much because they broke the law when they did.

They are being arrested in order to scare the people who might otherwise set up the next SR equivalent site.

The pigs can not usually arrest more than a maximum of 5% of any given group; whether it be filesharing, drugs, or whatever else. The reason why is simple logistics; there are literally millions of people motivated to break the law, for every one person there is motivated to enforce it.

So they're not trying to arrest everyone who does it. What they're trying to do, is arrest a sufficiently large number, that the majority who they can not arrest, are sufficiently scared, that they cease engaging in the behaviour in question. Publically at least, that worked wonders with file sharing; eMule died practically overnight, once Razorback, one of the main servers in the eDonkey network was raided. It was only a single server, yet it was a sufficiently well-known one, that it sent everyone into a panic, so they all started uninstalling eMule and no longer using it. That is exactly what the pigs want.

The moral of the story is not to be afraid. Do not selfishly hold the attitude that you should stop, because even though they can barely enforce the law itself, you might be one of the 1-5% who gets hit by the poison ball. The fact of the matter is, that the more people break the law, the safer everyone breaking it is; not less. If less people are infringing, that means that the percentage of the total group that the pigs can arrest, goes up. That in turn means that if you are one of the people who is still infringing, when most other people have stopped, you are now more likely to get busted than you were before.

So people need to make more Silk Road clones. There also need to be more clones of the Pirate Bay. We need so many people copying files, and buying and selling drugs, that the authorities end up being completely overwhelmed.

Comment Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (Score 2) 219

In Diablo, the real problem was the loot itself. They were all random drops, and even the named epic drops had random stats.

To put it in perspective, there were about 30 different random attributes. All builds require 4-5 of these attibutes.
All resist
str/dex/int depending on class
crit damage
If you dont have ALL of these abilities on most of your gear, you simply cannot complete end-game content.

If there is one thing I'm becoming exceptionally tired of, where RPGs are concerned, it is this scenario where the end game is the only thing anyone talks about. I've spent some time on the Borderlands 2 forums. That has a fairly long levelling game. Not months long, but getting to UVHM took me probably a month, playing on and off; I've got about 270 hours logged on Steam, now.

In said forums, however, whenever newbies tried to get advice about weapons, the only thing that anyone would answer them with, was information about end-game named uniques or legendaries, for the most part. There was precious little info offered about the manufacturing corporations, the different elemental damage types, etc; stuff that people needed to know for the whole game. There was also the usual bullshit insistence that some character builds were not "viable," for end game content, when I've been going through UVHM with a Survival Commando, (probably the class/spec combo which attracts the largest amount of shit) with no problem at all.

We have a couple of different problems here. The main one, is that forums in particular, and possibly these games in general, end up infested with a certain type of person who does not actually enjoy the game, and who is not there purely in order to play said game, but is motivated purely by a desire to be viewed as good at the game, for the purposes of ego gratification. It got to the point in the WoW forums where people were admitting that fairly openly.

The second problem, as an extension of the first, is that you have a very large number of frankly terrible players, in terms of their actual level of ability, who criticise the developers for adding talent trees to the game which are supposedly not "viable;" when again, said trees are usually fine. It will be the players themselves who suck, not the trees.

I'm not saying that D3 in particular was not an attrocious game; although I haven't played it myself, everyone I've spoken to about it, has consistently said it was terrible. At the same time, however, it needs to be acknowledged that the above problems do occur; particularly on forums.

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