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Comment Nintendo needed another reason not to buy the WiiU (Score 1) 190

I'm an American, so this doesn't affect me outside of the fact that the liberals in our country will think it's a great idea in another three to five years. But, really, it's like Nintendo is trying to chase customers away. There are already parental controls, so by making it needlessly difficult to purchase games that are geared towards adults, Nintendo is just sending the (admittedly true) message that they have no interest whatsoever in adult gamers. Unless you're under 14, really like virtual bowling, or are the kind of adult who describes things as "kawaii", there is nothing for you on the WiiU.

And, speaking as an adult who plays a shit-ton of 18+ games (on PC, thanks very much) 11:00 PM finds me either in bed finishing a book or out at the bar with friends if I'm off the next day. It's been many moons since I didn't have to be up and productive by 8:00 AM, and if I get less than 8 hours of sleep, I'm draggin' ass the next day. Besides which, how many people are going to be lining up for the opportunity to stay up later than they'd like to so they can have the privilege of buying a game from Nintendo?

Comment Re:God (Score 1) 862

Agnosticism isn't simply a point on a line that extends between atheism and theism.

A theist believes that there is a god or gods, or something along those lines, and believes that no "evidence" is necessary to maintain that belief, at least not in the conventional sense. In other words, a theist doesn't see a problem with believing in a being without having some sort of independent proof of its existence.

An atheist does not believe in a god or gods unless and until there is evidence to the contrary, in the same way that most people wouldn't believe there was a tooth fairy unless someone actually introduced them to the tooth fairy. Where a theist doesn't believe evidence is necessary, or, maybe more accurately, believes that subjective evidence is evidence enough (i.e., faith, or a "personal relationship" with the deity), an atheist doesn't believe in a god or gods without objective evidence to the contrary.

Now, an agnostic is someone who believes that metaphysical issues like the existence or nature of god or the gods is not only unknown, but unknowable in the usual sense of the word. Agnostics (gnosis meaning knowledge in Greek) believe that the idea of fact or evidence or proof is completely irrelevant to metaphysics, because humans simply aren't able to know one way or the other. The nature of god(s) is such that there can never be any true knowledge of them, certainly not in the same sense as "knowing" about gravity, or that New York City is on the east coast, or that your mom wears combat boots.

So, you can have an agnostic theist ("I believe in god, but I don't think that anyone can really know about god in an objective way,"), or even an agnostic atheist ("I don't believe in god because there is no proof, and even if there was a god you wouldn't be able to prove it,") although the latter is a little more difficult to manage. But it isn't as if putting Richard Dawkins and Pat Roberts in a blender would result in an agnostic.

Comment Monkeys (Score 1) 387

All this proves is that people are still primates. Staring at someone signals aggression. A camera can't stare at you, because it doesn't have a face. A person holding a camera is still a person, and he's a person doing the most threatening thing short of actual physical aggression that a primate can do: stare at you quietly with no expression.

Congrats, dude, you've just taught people that the kind of people who talk about surveillance and Orwell REALLY ARE socially-crippled paranoid weirdos. Privacy advocates everywhere owe you a swift kick in the ass. Two, in fact, for not explaining your purpose after freaking people out, and thus failing to do any education about privacy issues whatsoever.

Comment Re:Drones watching you scratch your balls (Score 1) 387


I think the clearest illustration of what's really being tested here is that these people are in situations where the common thread is the camera. The new element, the one that produces the reaction, is the person. I bet one million fake imaginary dollars that if you conducted this "study" by having some guy just walk up to people and stare at them, it would produce the same reaction. Conversely, hang signs on cameras in the middle of the street that say, "Smile, we're watching you and saving the footage for later masturbation!" you might get some laughs, but that's about it.

Comment Re:No, It's Way Over the Line and Abusively Ambigu (Score 1) 157

Oh, lord, not this argument again. Ok, so you think that, because you pay taxes and/or a health insurance premium, you should be able to tell people that they can't engage in potentially risky behavior that could result in their taking advantage of any public services or insurance.

Well, they also pay taxes, and may very well pay insurance premiums as well, but let's just set that aside.

You've convinced me. It's perfectly reasonable that, since I pay for a tiny, tiny fraction of the public services used by everyone, then I should have some say in personal behavior that could impact those services. Also, since I pay for health, car, and homeowner's insurance, the behavior of other people affects me within those contexts.

So, we'll go ahead and limit the amount of soda you can sell at once. Also, SUVs are top-heavy, so we'll ban those too; when people get into accidents, it affects my premiums. Ditto for people who live on the California coast, along the Gulf of Mexico, and Tornado Alley; not only do these people impact my homeowner's insurance, but federal money goes to bail those dopes out whenever weather happens. Since I'm paying for them, they shouldn't be allowed to live in dangerous places like Oklahoma.

Anyone else see any problem with this line of thinking?

Comment Re:But capitalism sucks... (Score 1) 157

Right on, eldavojohn. Capitalism and socialism are economic models. You can have a totalitarian state that allows the private ownership of capital, and you can have a democratic system with state ownership of capital. And certainly capitalism has never been a proof against corruption.

Granted, capitalism tends to go well with an open society and individual liberties simply because it's tough to keep a system going over the long run where citizens have economic freedom without political freedom, and because the success of a capitalist system depends on a legal system that protects private ownership, which is undermined when a government can seize property by fiat. And on the other side of the coin, socialist systems lend themselves to greater government involvement in daily life if for no other reason than that societies which see government involvement in ownership as appropriate, they also tend to find government involvement in other aspects of life as perfectly acceptable. But you don't have to look any further than the UK or Sweden for a good example of socialist economies with democratic systems, or China for something pretty close to a capitalist dictatorship.

Comment Re:Shocking (Score 0) 360

Well, but if the standard (which, to be fair, was changed very recently) defaults to violating user privacy, I fail to see how MS isn't on the side of the angels here. And we all know how effective shunning IE because it doesn't follow standards has been; anyone who's had to write the same damn page twice because IE doesn't support X can speak to that.

Now, since the standard shifted rather suspiciously, companies like Yahoo can track users as much as they'd like, with no notice, and claim that they're doing so for the lofty moral goal of supporting the W3's standards. IMO, it's a bad standard, and it ought to be restored to defaulting to privacy.

Comment Get a promotion (Score 1) 360

I haven't been in the industry for ten years, or even near it, and I know that unless I'm being hired specifically to create something new I'm going to be working with existing code. And I've worked for some very, very small companies where the code I'm working on has been written by people who've been short on time and resources. It's looked like total butt. It's been slapped together with bubble gum and bailing wire, and I've done my best to leave it better than I found it for the poor sap who comes behind me. Unless you're being hired to create something new, you'll be working on something old. You're probably being hired to fix what they've already got. Why would this surprise you?

Seriously, if you don't want to work on existing code, look for jobs where you're being asked to develop something from scratch. If the code worked great in the first place they wouldn't be looking for someone to fix it, would they?

Comment It'll live until something better comes along. (Score 1) 625

The PC killer will have to have:

1. A better input scheme than mouse and keyboard, suitable for everything from gaming to typing.
2. A power supply that is effectively unlimited.
3. The capacity to be easily modified, either by attaching external devices or by adding internal components.
4. Processing capability suitable for at least moderately intense applications.
5. A display that is clear and easily viewed.
6. Storage or access to storage capable of operating independently of web access.

Essentially, the most important aspect of the PC is the fact that it sits on a desk. You can hook a PC up to a television (or use a console with a keyboard) and it's not nearly as useful--try typing a lengthy document or doing anything work-like hunched forward over a coffee table, and don't get me started about wireless mice. The PC/desk combo has been developed to be the most effective, efficient, and comfortable workstation since the two became involved in the 70s.

Laptops come close, but only when they're--you guessed it--used on a desk, and then they're hampered by battery life. Unless they're plugged in, as most are, making them essentially small, cramped PCs. Consoles aren't anywhere near PCs for ease of control, and of course they have virtually no use beyond watching movies or playing games due to the lack of effective keyboard peripherals and the whole coffee table thing. Tablets and phones are fine for checking email or looking something up on the Internet in a pinch, but they're awful for typing, still lag far behind in processing power, and have battery life issues.

Until someone comes up with something that basically replaces the desk as the primary place of work, the PC will be king.

Comment Insurance (Score 2) 1199

I'm posting this once instead of replying to the 45 or so posts that mention this. Smokers do not raise your insurance premiums.

I'll repeat for emphasis:

*Smokers do not raise your insurance premiums.*

Smokers pay higher insurance premiums because they are in a different risk pool. You might be paying higher premiums for fat people, but the moment one of those tubsters develops diabetes or whatever, their premiums go up, so you're not paying as much as you think. Under Obamacare, granted, that changes slightly, because the law now makes it more difficult for insurance companies to raise premiums on policy holders who develop ongoing health issues. But smokers are already paying higher premiums just for smoking, before they even get in the doctor's office door.

So, you are not paying for smokers' health insurance premiums. Get off your respective high horses. And loosen up, god, you must be the people who go to a party and complain about the music being too loud.

Also, this is how you know that south Florida is not actually part of the South. It's actually a southern colony of Connecticut, and should be treated accordingly.

Also also, if you live in a country with socialized medicine, you may very well be paying for smokers via taxes, but they're also probably paying a ton of tax on cigarettes, so get over yourself, commie.

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