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Comment Re:And in other completely unrelated news (Score 1) 95

Well read this then, and other articles like it:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/18/pol-navigable-waters-protection-budget-bill.html

or:
http://o.canada.com/2012/10/29/after-federal-changes-to-waterways-rules-89-per-cent-of-protected-lakes-lap-on-conservative-shores/

The changes to the Navigable Waters Protection act (which is almost as old as Canada) have been changed in bill C-45, so that a huge majority of Canadian lakes and Rivers will no longer have environmental protection. Perhaps coincidently, 89% of those lakes and rivers that will STILL have protection under the new changes, are in Conservative Ridings.

"Bill C-45 would mean tens of thousands of lakes and rivers will no longer be covered by the NWPA, leaving protection for just 97 lakes, 62 rivers and the three oceans." http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/letters-to-the-editor/bill-c-45-will-do-away-with-protection-for-waterways-11313.html

Now who is spreading disinformation? Is it you for denying that anything is wrong?

Comment Re:Let us celebrate.. (Score 1) 232

"One Treatment" might mean removing stem cells from the patient, cultivating them in a lab to introduce this new protein, then surgically implanting them in the patient's bone marrow if I heard what the researcher said correctly. It would only need to be done once, but its not gonna be a single pill or injection either.
Although at this stage who knows. It does mark a major breakthrough if it works. Hopefully no one gets a patent on it :P

Comment Re:And in other completely unrelated news (Score 1) 95

Oh we are leading the way in political apathy with regards to the environment as well! Prime Minister Harper doesn't believe in environmentalism and is doing his best to eradicate all environmental groups in Canada, pass laws that remove environmental protection from 95% of Canada's waterways, and push through massive pipeline projects despite citizen's concerns or the objections of the indigenous peoples who live on the lands those pipes will cross.
If there is a way to fuck up the world's environment, sell ownership of Canada's natural resources to foreign companies, or screw over the public in favour of large corporations, private interests or to curry favour with the US - Steven Harper is your man.

Comment Re:Maybe it was a bad idea in the first place (Score 2) 320

Well I agree with you. I use the web to read stuff, sometimes to view stuff, and to post information back. I use applications for pretty much any other use of the web.

I don't need a lot of the "functionality" that seems to important to web developers these days. A lot of that stuff could be done on the back end, or at least with a much more secure system than relying on Javascript to implement it.

Its perhaps time for a new client-side coding mechanism that starts with security first and foremost, and adds enough client-server interaction to be useful without exposing the user to as many possible exploits?

Comment Re:Acceptable (Score 1) 333

My first thought was why can't a player designate the sexual orientation of their character via a pulldown, and then let the combination of pulldown settings determine what emotes etc are available? Why segregate the population. What about the RP types who want to play a gender they aren't?
In this day and age with a growing acceptance of the fact that not all people are straight, I would have thought they would be leaping on the opportunity to "go with the flow" on this.
I tried SWTOR mind you, and although I didn't get all that far, the game seemed rather limited and repetitive, so I haven't played with the emote system etc.

I prefer playing the original SW MMORPG: www.swgemu.com :P

Comment Re:I don't recall noticing this... (Score 1) 134

I have watched this cycle with every MMORPG I have played so far. The people who scream the most about the game endlessly on the forums are NOT the ones to listen to. The average gameplayer is not qualified to do game design, even though they think they are. Almost every one of those raging complaints I have read is about 1 aspect of a game design and is often far too personal and coming from far too narrow a perspective.
Now there are people that analyze the game, do endless math, and seriously try to quantify problems, and are making a serious effort to make a contribution and they should be considered, but not the final arbiters.

All too often the developers listen to the feedback from the players and make changes that the players claim they want - but in the end it only helps ruin the game. I far prefer a developer who has the balls to listen to the public, then go back to their design and make changes that are consistent with the game's original design - or even not change things because change is not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes a game element is fine the way it is but the player base hasn't taken the time to really look at it.

Even worse is letting the beancounter's dictate design of course. Just because some other game is popular, does not inherently mean that trying to clone it will guarantee the same success.

Dark Age of Camelot - a *fantastic* original design. Probably the best MMORPG ever designed. It had a great mix of PvE/PvP gameplay and appealed to each camp. It had Roleplaying servers - it had PvP Roleplaying servers even and the RP rules were more or less enforced to boot. The first expansion (Shrouded Isles) totally ruined the original culturally based design even while it expanded the PVE side of the game. It could have been better executed and designed. Further expansions and improvements only made things progressively worse. The developers failed to see what the appeal of the original game design was, and thoroughly overengineered it in the name of putting out multiple expansions.

Star Wars Galaxies - the other contender for best MMORPG in my opinion, despite its many flaws (PvP was at best rather mediocre and generally there was more dueling than actual PvP). An amazing Sandbox design that had a very dedicated community. An innovative game with many features and elements not found in any other titles - before or since. WOW was emerging at the same time though, and so the developers felt the need to make the game more like WOW to capture the millions they saw flowing elsewhere. They failed completely in every regard. The first revamp - the "Combat Upgrade" simply ruined a few elements of the game but was succeeded by the New Game Enhancement (NGE) which was shoved down the players throats without any previous warning (well, they announced it was happening 2 weeks before it happened). This took the game from a Sandbox design with 32 mixable professions and great flexibility to a design where there were only 9 possible character specs. If you were a commando, you were absolutely identical to every other commando in the game in every regard. The game lost probably 85% of its playerbase.

City of Heroes/City of Villains - a great game, although weak in PvP, fantastic loyalty from its fans, but they failed to live up to the expectations of the players who wanted the superhero genre. That said it was a great game right up until the beancounters pulled the plug with no explanation, despite a loyal fanbase, and apparently turning a profit.

Warhammer Online - built by the same folks that ruined Dark Age of Camelot, this game attempted to recreate the same intense gameplay but was so thoroughly over-engineered that it lost those people who had enjoyed the original title so immensely. They tried to recreate the mechanics of the original game, but ignored the PvE side of things (always the largest portion of any MMO playerbase) in favour of really boring PvP which lacked the fun you want in PvP completely - at least for me and my dozen or so friends who had played DAOC religiously for about 5 years. Warhammer had some interesting features and classes, but not that interesting.

WOW - well I can't comment on this title at all since I have so studiously avoided it. I played it in beta and concluded it was MMO on easy mode and it was not that fun. The "ironic" modern culture elements mixed into the game no doubt contributed to its success amongst those who hadn't played a real MMO but they completely turned me off. Didn't last the first 2 weeks of the game once it went live. I understand subsequent expansions all tended to make things worse for a lot of players. It was massively successful of course.

Comment Re:What happened to the "free" of the "Free World" (Score 2) 210

The Spirit of Freedom has been bought and sold to the mega-corporations and their client governments. Privacy doesn't need to be dead, but its more advantageous to the business community if it is, therefore things like this proposed legislation to "Combat Terrorism" - i.e. to combat those whom the Media Industry wants to close down and prevent from copying their copyright works.

Comment Re:And (Score 4, Insightful) 93

Well, ok, what I posted was slanted. I am sure that left-wing political parties and interest groups are just as likely to be doing the same thing.
The problem is I am left-wing generally, so I don't notice much of the commentary that I agree with or which seems sensible to me, as much as I notice the stuff that I *personally* consider to be right-wing batshit crazy.
I was not however being even handed in my response, you are correct.

My point was that this article is pointing out the Vietnamese Communist party is using these tactics, and this seems to suggest an air of "oh how low-down and despicable" of them, when I am fairly certain that either our western political parties - or "advocacy groups" on their behalf are doing the same thing.

It seems particularly noticeable on CNN to me. Whenever Obama is mentioned, a ton of posts seem to try to redirect the readers to a different but unrelated topic, usually by massive trolling and racial insults. Now, perhaps this is just reflective of the readership on CNN, or the American people in general but it seems very consisten and very immediate.

Caveat: I am Canadian, and I am *absolutely* sure that our current Prime Minister's Conservative party would do this, they have already been caught cheating with their finances in multiple ridings and elections, and we had a huge robo-call scandal in the last election where people pretending to represent the Liberal Part (that's middle of the road politically mind you, not left wing) and the New Democratic party (they are also pretty middle of the road these days but used to be more left-wing) called voters to tell them that their poling stations had moved (to addresses that didn't exist, were the wrong location etc), deliberately trying to ensure that those supporting their opposition parties had less chances to vote. It all got blamed on 1 unauthorized staffer of course, but since it involved thousands of phone calls this seems rather unlikely.

Astroturfing articles that are critical of your political belief seems almost guaranteed as a tactic these days, here in the west, not just in foreign communist countries.

Comment And (Score 5, Insightful) 93

Do you really think our western democratic political parties are not doing the exact same thing - even if they refer to them as marketing consultants or something similar?
I have sure noticed that some topics on various news sites and forums attract *immediate* right-wing commentary denigrating whatever the article is about.
I expect every political party out there is doing something similar. After all politics is more about appearance than substance these days.

Comment Re:Little worried about their science credentials. (Score 1) 191

Of course the obvious answer is that no one who worked on the script had the slightest fucking idea that a "parsec" wasn't a unit of time, they probably just looked up some scientific sounding terms to spread through the script and thats all she wrote.
Explanations after the fact are all fine and dandy but I suspect this one is complete bullshit to cover a very glaring error.

Comment Re:Good Advice (Score 1, Interesting) 316

But in CorporationLand, the important thing is to maximize the profits at all costs. The best way to maximize those profits is to pay the minimum possible wage with zero benefits - and if the person doesn't show up enough times, hire another desperate drone from the huddled masses of the unemployed and abuse them until they leave or find a better job. You get what you hire of course, but since its for a job that has no future and is simple enough to learn, they don't have to have high standards.
Sure, if they paid a better wage and offered decent benefits they would retain more employees and have more loyal workers but suspect the current system is working better for them.
Where I am living the minimum wage is $8.75/hr I believe. A study from a year or two ago determined that you need to be making at least $15/hr in order to have an acceptable minimum standard of living in the same community. The average price of a house here is $603k. Thus, the average person will never own a house here and will be stuck renting. Since there are no rent controls, rent continues to climb while wages drop.

Comment Precisely, Its too late (Score 1) 1388

There is no solution that is going to prevent gun violence in the US, its too late. You have too many guns already available. Any tech you can possibly invent will not affect any of the guns who do not have that tech, and in fact will only make those who own the newer "safer" guns be at more risk.
The US is a violent place. Many of you practically worship the right to bear arms. I personally think that the widespread possession and availability of guns has aggravated that situation but it hardly matters whether or not that is true. The guns are there already, with a powerful lobby supporting their continued presence, and a powerful industry dedicated to producing and selling them. Its too late to fix that situation, period.

About the only thing that might help resolve the situation would be a vigorous buy-back program which saw the government purchasing any gun from any individual, for cash without questions. It would have to be sufficient cash to encourage people to actually sell their firearms, and of course with the US on the decline, where would that cash possibly come from. (and of course this would immediately spawn a black-market gun production industry making guns solely to sell them and have them be destroyed, would spawn a smuggling industry importing guns from elsewhere to sell them etc).

The real solution is of course to have a very effective socialized mental health system similar to our health system up here in Canada (although our mental health system sucks as much as is possible too). And of course, an effective healthcare system is also another bugaboo down there. To paraphrase:
"Guns don't kill people, mentally ill people with guns kill people"

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