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Comment Re:Damn! - Eve? (Score 1) 150

It's been a while(read: years) since I've played EVE, but it strikes me that a lot of the things you mention is already incorporated in that game.(BTW I'm not an EVE fanatic, I actually found it somewhat boring, despite a quite compelling world)

"epic missions - battles involving hundreds of players"

- Well, there's plenty of that, just check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2LHvByxM70 for some huge battles

"massive events (enemy assault on a town, siege progressing day by day)"

- Not too sure about this, but should think was covered by the expansion that allowed planetary conquest?(yes/no?) if not then when trying to take an enemy one/base.

"timed progress of situation as players complete their tasks"

- I've no idea about this one, but being a single server game surely some "endgame" quests are one-offs?

"stalemate situations that need heavy power to throw them off balance"

- Not sure if there are any game created situations like this, but I've been in more than a few corporation based stalemates.

"important positions relatively easy to take over but difficult to hold, so they continuously change ownership"

- Ok, can't find a single example of this.( haven't looked very thoroughly though)

"significant guilds shaping the politics, economy, influencing the world,"

- This one is absolutely unavoidable in the game, completely player based economy and political landscapes. Granted, with root in some of the lore when it comes to politics.

"VERY difficult missions which would be attempted and failed over and over until someone succeeds and the result is permanent"

Again I take the position of one server = one-off quests.(again no idea if this is the case or not)

"construction of massive structures progressing by tiny phases, so your contribution is permanent ("I built THIS door of the castle")"

-Space stations, Strategic cruisers. 'Nuff said, well almost. Though massive structures taking ages to build, I suppose it's not really a "tiny phase" process.

"active environmental engineering (channels, lakes, dams) controlled from well defendable positions you can take over then hold or protect with traps"

- Argh space, no environment, got me on this one.

"portable structures that can be built anywhere by consolidated effort of a moderately sized group ("let's build a fortified checkpoint HERE.")"

- Corporations owning jumpgate sector by heavily fortifying them, Spacestations Strategic cruisers.

"Instantiated personal space (a room in a hotel or a house) so that every player has a fully customizable personal area without cutting into the massive bulk"

- As far as I know this is not yet the case. but weren't they going to implement this? a room in your ship you could enter in a first person view.

"expensive, prestigeous public locations for rent/sale and personalized use."

- Ok, got me again.

Anyhow now that I'm done rambling, I completely agree with you. I would love to see more of these features incorporated into more MMO games:)

Comment Re:one step closer to drive thru degrees (Score 1) 371

As a teacher, I for one welcome this way of grading students.

Exams has always been a flimsy look at a student at best. Students who perform well all year, but perform poorly under stress(read: exams) can have a whole years worth of great grades bonkered by a single day of intense stress. Likewise, a student who has done next to nothing all year, may get lucky at the exam and score a high grade, following a years worth of low grades.

Grading the students throughout the full year gives you both a sense of the work morale and the students general level of accomplishment. Of course there would have to be graded papers/Assignments/etc. throughout the year to compensate for the loss of the exam.

If we look a bit further than just the education in it self, we see that in almost no workplaces will you be asked to work alone for four hours, in a small confined room, with no outside help and then be expected to write the next great novel/design a bridge from scratch/prove string theory.

Most workplaces here(Denmark) either half, or fully disregards exam grades and instead look at the yearly grades, to get a sense of how this person will behave on a daily basis.

If educational institutions insist on keeping the old exam style, the least they can do if give the students access to the internet, to give a better likeness to how their worklife will be. Gladly I can say that in Denmark we're already beginning to do this, but still far too slow for my taste.

In general the biggest problem many educational institutions has at the moment is that they don't follow the times around them. and those who do a generally still always a few paces behind.

Comment Re:Sex Ed outside US (Score 1) 703

Here are the links I promised earlier
Annoyingly enough I can't find the survey itself, but I have found a few articles dating from 2001 to 2009, concerning the subject.
If anyone is interested the survey was, as far as I can tell, carried out by Opinion Health on behalf of Bayer Schering Pharma AG

Dated July 16th 2001 - BBC. Article on Teenage myths about contraceptives

Dated May 21st 2005 - Medical News Today. Article on the (mis)use of contraceptives

Dated August 20th 2006 - The Medical News. Article on rising STD's(STI's in the article) and the appearent lack of sex ed

Dated September 5th 2009 - Health News. Blog referring to the suvey, which I can't find

Date September 7th 2009 - Netdoctor. Article referring the the survey

and just for good measure here's the wiki statistics on British teen pregnancy

Comment Sex Ed outside US (Score 5, Informative) 703

First off, sorry for the long post

Second off, Seriously WTH??

I'm a teacher at a danish public school and what the DA is suggesting here is almost criminallly negligent in Denmark.
The pupils here HAVE to learn how to use contraceptives, it's the law. IMHO anything else is shooting yourself in the foot.
Not teaching them these things will not prevent the kids from having sex. I've never quite understood the whole American "If we don't talk/think about it then it doesn't exist!" attitude. To be fair though, it's not just the americans. Earlier this week I watched a documentary about British teenagers and their knowledge about sex and it was horrifying. Chicken skin as condoms, rinse out with cola, eat indian food the day after you've had sex. These were somewhat widely spread beliefs among teenagers on how not to get pregnant.(it's 4 in the morning atm and I can't remember what the documentary was called, but I'll find the link to the statistics later after I've slept)

Anyway, enough of my ramblings.
I'm glad to hear that Mrs. Helen don't see things the way the DA does. I can not for the life of me see how not teaching about contraceptives would be the better choice. Hindering the spread of STD's and minimising unwanted teen pregnancies would only seem like a good thing, no?
let's just for arguments sake do a little thought experiment.
Based on the belief(my belief at least) that teens will have sex no matter what we tell them i see a few different scenarios.

1: Teens have sex -> Teens don't use protection -> By sheer dumb luck nothing happens.

2: Teens have sex -> Teens don't use protection -> STD gets transmitted -> Numerous doctors appointments and various medication that in the best case kills the STD and in the worst case the girl will not be able to bear children later in her life.(drastic contrast I know, but entirely possible and it serves the example well)

3: Teens have sex -> Teens do use protection -> If used incorrectly there's a high probability that we'll end up as in example 2

4: Teens have sex -> Teens do use protection -> If used correctly the risk of STD's or unwanted pregnancy is reduced to a virtuel minimumm.

Feel free to correct these if you feel I've messed up, I AM going on my 28th hour awake.

So even the knowledge of contraceptives can be hurtful if it is not well founded.

Granted my students look at me like I've lost my mind when I bring bananas and condoms to class, and granted they're quite shy and embarresed at first, usually we'll just end up having a laugh about it though.
I even know a colleague of mine encouraged her pupils to learn how to put on the comdoms using only their mouths, both the girls AND the boys(Who knows, some of them may be gay and this might come in handy?) This is far from standard curriculum though and not something any school here would reccomend. But as teachers we do have a lot of leeway to use the techniques we see fit.

oh and as a last little side note here. We DO teach our pupils about alcohol, both in general and from personal experience uusually. They're gonna try it at parties anyway, so might as well prepare them as best we can. I'm not saying we bring alcohol to school, that's highly illegal, but we do talk about it in almost every aspect. The taste, smell, looks, effect(good and bad) etc. as do we when it comes to sex. The teachers have to make up with themselves if they want to include personal experience or not, but talking about how sex feels(both physically and psychologically) and what the goods and bads are about it, tends to have a lot more succes than just dry boring anatomy facts and standard info on STD's. Of course the anatomy, biology and the STD info is required teachings, but just listing facts is a dead sure way of not getting your pupils attention.

Comment Re:Been there...done that! (Score 1) 166

You're ignoring the huge, huge chasm between unicellular and multicellular organisms, one which was not bridged by evolutionary processes for over 3 billion years by most estimates. It was previously thought that multicellular life without an oxygen-based metabolism was impossible, because previous models of microorganism evolution pegged multicellular development to a point after the Oxygen Catastrophe of the Siderian period. This discovery may lead to wholesale revision of models of microorganism evolution over geologic time.

There's another possibility here. That these multicellular organisms obtained their hydrogenosome (anaerobic equivalent to mitochondria) from some symbiotic or parasitic unicellular life. I don't understand the taxonomy of these animals, but they seem very complex and from a branch of animals far removed from unicellular life. A jump to an anaerobic biology seems pretty tough to do, unless they borrowed the metabolism wholesale from another organism. It'll be interesting to see if their hydrogenosome is related to any current anaerobic unicellular life.

Comment Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 240

Photographers do deserve to be compensated if their copyrighted material has been published online


I just published some of your (presumably) copyrighted material online. But I didn't ask you, I didn't compensate you, and I'm not planning to in the future. Is there something different about photography as compared to text, for this purpose? I don't think so.

I'm not against photographers having rights in their work, but you haven't even so much as given a reason why, much less a good reason. And even should you do that, you then need to think about whether it would apply to any publication online, or whether there might be exceptions that would better promote the reasons you came up with than granting compensation would.

Comment Re:The iPad is original Apple Redux (Score 1) 643

Oh please. There are a lot of platforms which have come and gone (with little attention from anyone who matters), and not for lack of a killer app.

The Newton was cool. It didn't have a killer app (though did have many awesome users), and passed away quickly. Why? Simply, it was too niche.

Something isn't "killer" until it actually is a game changer. the iPhone was a game changer, not only because it was a smartphone made widely available and marketed out the ass to every US urban area, but because it was pretty and did things people's existing phones couldn't do. The AppStore (the iPhone's killer app) wasn't a killer app (which Apple made, coincidentially) for the platform until people started using it. Same for the iPod (via iTunes).

The iPad fills the same basic niche as the Newton: not as good as a full-on computer, not as good as what people traditionally keep in their pocket. But, damn! It was cool! Too bad it wasn't terribly useful for most people.

Comment Olden goldie reboot (Score 1) 1120

I'm not sure if these could even be rebooted, but how about games such as Heroes quest(Quest for glory, as it was later renamed), police, and space quest. The strikingly bizarre humor and more-than-standard crazy plots were fantastic, so much so that I still have all the installments of Heroes quest and space quest running on my current pc. *sighs* But alas, I fear the days were games were based on gameplay instead of the "uh, shiny!" method are all but forgot. As much as I'd like to see these games renwed I'm not sure that anyone would really be able to capture the essence of what the games are.

Comment Re:Reach for the switch... (Score 4, Informative) 630

Actually there's a rather interesting book about this subject, taking an example in Data, but arguing for all kinds of artificial intelligence. "Is Data human? The metaphysics of Star Trek" written by Richard Hanley (Paperback)ISBN: 0-465-04548-0 In this book Hanley, among other things discuess and debate the various kinds of intelligence and how they might come to express themselves. When is intelligence the same as personhood and so on, he even expands on the turing test to test for more than just intelligence. I've been reading this book over and over lately, and can highly recommend it if the notion of what and how an AI is and just what we need to consider when creating and especially testing these machines, interests you.

Wasting Time Fixing Computers 613

An anonymous reader writes "Interesting experiment by Marshall Brain, where he tracked every time-wasting error, repair, annoyance on his home network for one month. He logs 11 hours and 20 minutes of crap, everything from driver problems to forced upgrades, spam overflows... you name it. Anyone on /. is experiencing the same thing. Is it going to get better or worse in 2004, and how much time are we all wasting?"

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