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Comment Re:That's why people are moving to streaming servi (Score 1) 47

Because they're tired of paying $80/mo for cable because it's the only way to get a couple dozen channels they want, but the cheapest bundle that includes those channels comes with hundreds of other channels they're not interested in. Whereas the streaming services offer more granular selection which lets you pick and choose those channels you want for $30/mo, because they're not bundled with a bunch of expensive sports channels you never watch.

Random story which may elucidate why this is wrong:

I played World of Warcraft back in the classic days, and used to get pretty miffed when I saw +Spell Damage on a piece of armour instead of +Frost Damage; after all, why waste precious stat points on all those elements my frost mage wasn't going to use? Bollocks to that +33 Spell Damage item, it should ditch the other elements and become a +40 Frost Damage one.

My view was a bit naive, I'll admit. The game was balanced around the amount of bonus damage the existing armour provided; if it were altered to give me an advantage, which seemed possible (+single element damage seemed to use fewer item stat points than +all element damage), then they'd have to rebalance everything around that; probably by lowering the base damage of my character, which would suck.

So while you see this bundle which has Awesome Channel + 30 other channels you don't give a hoot about, the cable company is aware. It's bundling those for convenience on their behalf. If they removed the 29 channels you don't watch they wouldn't reduce the price, because it still costs them the same to deliver those channels that you do watch as it did previously. The others are sort of a bonus.

It's a bit weird, and easy to feel like you should be able to optimise and pick just the bit you want to get ahead, but it seems likely that the removal of channels from a pack wouldn't affect the price at all, because you're only paying for what you use - you're just lumped into a group with others who pay for the [different] parts that they use.

Comment Re:already exceeding expectations (Score 1) 1560

I think many people who supported Hillary for some reason had a blind spot to all her faults.

As an outside observer, I can confidently proclaim that this statement would be true of the vast majority of vocal political commentators here no matter which name was inserted into the sentence. It is frankly bizarre that such a large group of relatively learned individuals lack the capacity to introspect their own opinions and instead merely vomit forth whatever emotional response they hold as the one truth.

No person placed under intense and biased scrutiny is going to walk away looking like anything other than the most extreme piece of trash ever to walk the Earth, whether it's a politician or your ex-partner. The caricature of a human that evolves in your mind as a response to an emotional analysis is an enormous straw-man and you should be able to recognise and deconstruct that.

I don't have an intimate knowledge of U.S. politics, but I've yet to see anyone attempt to provide an analysis that wasn't trying to push an emotional opinion on the audience. No matter how elegant and subtle you think you're being, it's woefully transparent and repugnant to witness.

Daniel Dennet's rules for composing a successful critical commentary are as follows; if you wish to criticise someone you need to analyse the parts of their opinions that you agree with first, to ensure you fully understand the whole:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

No politician is universally bad or has universally bad ideas, and making it out like they are is just going to trigger our internal filters. I find myself skimming over or skipping large posts online most of the time these days; not because I lack attention span, but because the author isn't providing a thoughtful analysis.

Comment Re:Australian "conservatives" don't understand (Score 1) 160

The US seems to follow "buyer beware", whereas Australia (and NZ) follow "buyer be protected". If you buy a device with a 12 month warranty and a reasonable consumer would expect it to last in excess of five years flawlessly, you can likely get it repaired/replaced for free if it dies within that time period (though it'll probably take some arguing). Likewise if the device doesn't do what it purported to do, or what the sales person said it could do, you can have it refunded. Reduces risk on the buyer's behalf and encourages better quality goods. In theory.

Comment Re:Geometry (Score 1) 397

Language is usually fairly irrelevant. It's like if I wanted to write an essay on the nature of monkeys (which I don't know much about) in Esperanto (which I don't know at all). I could learn the characters and grammar of Esperanto, which is apparently not super difficult, but that wouldn't teach me anything about monkeys or how to structure essays about them.

Comment Re:Let me get this straight: (Score 1) 428

However most vegetable oils are high in omega-6, which is correlated with arthritis amongst the usual crowd: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-6_fatty_acid#Suggested_negative_health_effects. It's used in pro-inflammatory immune responses, which are useful, but when consumed in excess (relative to omega-3, which is pretty hard to get given the 30:1 ratio most people apparently eat) it seems like it might not be so useful. Humans certainly didn't evolve with the ability to digest massive quantities of seed oil unimpeded by the fibrous seed itself. It looks like saturated fats and olive oil are still better for you, just for different reasons.

Comment Re:Rookie mistake number one (Score 1) 281

Microservices have some legitimate criticisms; it seems like you should only embark on that quest if you really know what you're doing and it's the best solution to your specific problem. It might be useful for expanding a monolith which is out of control, or for performance/language reasons in some cases, but building a whole system from microservices looks like it would be needlessly complicated once you delved in.

Comment Re:Does the real name policy curb trolling? (Score 4, Insightful) 232

Perhaps, but imagine for a moment that you're an LGBT (or otherwise marginalised) teen living in a fairly hostile community. You'd want to reach out and communicate with people who could empathise, but wouldn't want to reveal your identity lest it lead to retribution. Not requiring a real name would allow them to reach out in a safer manner on that particular platform.

That isn't just restricted to LGBT people, either. Anyone with a condition or history who wanted to communicate about it without linking it to them in a way family/friends/employers might find out about could benefit from a lack of real name requirements. Bullies would benefit too, however, so it's a double edged sword.

Comment Re:So what is the answer? (Score 2) 155

It probably depends. If you're wheelchair bound and are unable to move into a vehicle unassisted you're already utilising wheelchair taxis, not normal taxis, so it probably wouldn't apply in those situations. Refusing to have a guide dog in the car is problematic though, as they're permitted pretty much everywhere and are quite well trained. It's not unreasonable to require drivers to take a guide dog if a blind person hails a taxi, unless they're allergic, so why should ridesharing services be permitted to do so?

In cases where it doesn't require much, if anything other than an attitude change, to support disabled people, it's more or less a no brainer. In other cases, if it should depend on the circumstances. If a person can't change the thing about them that's causing the issue (e.g. in this case, their disability) then requiring businesses to make reasonable changes to accommodate them is perfectly ethical. They're still human, and should be given the best chance to lead a normal life if they desire it.

Comment Re:Anyone figure out why (Score 3, Insightful) 102

Sony probably backed it to give them another edge over the Xbox One. It's an odd decision, however, given RPG remakes don't tend to happen.

I'll be interested to see if they can live up to the expectations we've developed over time. Upon replaying them I discovered that a large part of the depth of PSX and earlier Final Fantasy games was filling in the blanks – particularly when it came to personalities. Without voice acting you can come up with a completely different person depending on how you read them, which leads to different people having dissimilar experiences. With latter FF games they've been inserting a lot of voice acting, which I found very off-putting (it's not exactly A-list stuff, and I find that the personalities they project are strained).

I found Leigh and Kirk's FF7 Letters to be an interesting nostalgia trip. Kirk had been in the industry for a while before playing FF7, having been exposed to its legend on many an occasion, and exchanged letters with Leigh whilst he experienced it for the first time. There's a lot of things my mind skipped over as a kid; always ignored Tifa, for example, when I could have interpreted her in an entirely different and more mature way. It's interesting.

It'll be cool to see, regardless; re-imaginings are often fun ways of looking deeper into a story.

Comment Re:one down, about a dozen to go. (Score 1) 851

I'd be more concerned about the cigarette companies using countries to lodge World Trade Organisation complaints or suing you under old treaties than about people growing their own tobacco (not that doing so would be easy with current war-on-drugs surveillance technology); they're still trying to get Australia to reverse its widely-praised plain packaging laws.

Comment Re:Palm oil? (Score 1) 851

It'd be interesting to find out how good lard is, but when it's coming from bacon you'd still have the same problems associated with other processed red meats. Coming from unprocessed red meat (i.e. pre-bacon curing), however, looks like it might be fine.

Comment Re:Sick and tired of the political correctness (Score 1) 185

That "study" is ridiculously flawed; they couldn't find a real paper arguing their point (noted in the article), so they invented a unrealistic scenario and used that. Nobody sane hires based entirely upon a piece of paper without meeting the person beforehand. It's absurd. They asked faculty members (not the people who would actually hire) to pick between two identical on-paper only people without being able to acquire more information or meet them in an interview setting, so of course they're going to decide between them based on superficial reasons. That is not evidence of discrimination in hiring processes, it's evidence of a flame-bait article.

It may be that women can be privileged in hiring scenarios (for affirmative action or other reasons), but you'll need to provide an actual scientific study that argues that.

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