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Comment Re:15M (Score 4, Informative) 291

This is not a new problem, and is well covered in Bertrand Russell's In Praise of Idleness written in 1932.

Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day.

Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price.

In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before.

But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work.

There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness.

Can anything more insane be imagined?

The whole essay is well worth reading, and remains just as true as ever it was..

Comment Re:uhhh. (Score 1) 410

The Popes solved that problem by holding the title until they die.

However, that is the worst thing to do for a U.S. politician and I'm not so sure about the Supreme Court either.

Holding office until you are dead, and having fixed terms of office are not mutually exclusive

Executing your rulers after they have served their terms is not a new concept

Comment Re:Ban Credit-Cards. (Score 1) 161

original poster said;

Here in the EU, we're removing all the highest-denomination notes from circulation on the grounds that the only people who need to make such huge transactions in cash are criminals.

you replied;

Do you have ANY evidence to back that seemingly far-fetched claim up? I've never even heard of categorically removing high denomination notes in the EU.

I politely give you a link about the UK (a member of the EU since 1973) removing 500 euro notes (what might be called high denomination) from circulation because of organised crime (what we might call criminals)

and you then tell me that the currency of the UK isn't euros...

no fucking shit sherlock

top tip for you; not all members of the EU use the euro. There are 27 members of the EU and only 17* of them are in the eurozone

*this number may drop suddenly in the next few months

Comment Re:It worked well enough for me. (Score 1) 436

while i may agree with your overall assessment of the artistic quality of avatar...

What will Avatar be in 20 years? An early example of stereoscopic 3D, and about as much of a classic as the first movie filmed with "technicolour". Of interest to people interested in the history of film technology... and that's about it.

I'm not sure this comparison to technicolour helps your case.

As i understand it, the first big budget technicolor movie was the Wizard of Oz, and it was to most movie goers of the time utterly ground breaking

[for people who may not have seen the film in a while, the begining starts off in "normal" black and white, it's only when Dorothy gets to oz that it switches to colour]

I think its not an unfair comparison to the early scene in Avatar where there is a drop of water floating in space, 30 feet in front of the projected screen.

For me that was a genuine wow moment at the new technology, which i imagine was the same reaction technicolour had

I think from then on the problems with 3d detract from the movie more than they enhance it, and to be honest it's a pretty weak story with very 2 dimension (pun-intended) characterisation - ( except for the armoured mechs, Cameron is right in that EVERYTHING can be improved with armoured mechs...)


Examining Indie Game Pricing 188

As the second Humble Indie Bundle flourishes, having taken in over $1.5 million in pay-what-you-want sales, the Opposable Thumbs blog has taken a look at indie game pricing in general, trying to determine how low price points and frequent sales affect their popularity in an ocean of $60 blockbusters. Quoting: "... in the short term these sales are a good thing. They bring in more sales, more revenue, and expand the reach of games that frequently have very little marketing support behind them, if any. For those games, getting on the front page of Steam is a huge boost, putting it in front of a huge audience of gamers. But what are the long-term effects? If most players are buying these games at a severely reduced price, how does that influence the perception of indie games at large? It's not an easy question to answer, especially considering how relatively new these sales are, making it difficult to judge their long-term effects. But it's clear they're somewhat of a double-edged sword. Exposure is good, but price erosion isn't. 'When it comes to perception, a deep discount gets people playing the game that [they] wouldn't play otherwise, and I think that has both positive and negative effects,' [2D Boy co-founder Ron Carmel] told Ars. 'The negative is that if I'm willing to pay $5 but not $20, I probably don't want to play that game very much, so maybe I'm not as excited about it after I play it and maybe I drive down the average appreciation of the game.'"

Comment Re:Still doing that? (Score 1) 631

Sin is, by definition, behavior that God does not want. But if God is the omnipotent, omniscient creator, he must have known that humans would sin and yet he created them anyway.

It's a logical impossibility for such a God to create a world that he does not want.

Theologians do a lot of handwaving to avoid this conundrum, but nobody has successfully solved it.

Actually thats not true, it was quite sucessfully solved by the Cathars,by the premise of two equally powerful gods, one good the other evil

The World of matter we are living in was held to be a creation of the evil god btw, this is why it is so obviously full of suffering and sin. the goal of the cathar's was to transend this evil physical world and enter the good spiritual one.

This is of course utterly heretical, and is why the catholic church saw fit to help the cathar's escape the physical world by setting them on fire...

Comment Re:Still doing that? (Score 1) 631

How about Clement Attlee, Father of the welfare State. regarded in a recent Poll as the greatest prime minister of the 20th Century.

When interviewed on the subject of his belief, he declared himself to be "incapable of religious feeling"

he's just the first I thought of by the way, I'm fairly sure there are a large number of other european heads of state who would fit the bill just fine...

Comment Re:In other words (Score 4, Interesting) 604

actually there has already been an experiment that demonstrated the converse rat park

which appeared to demonstrate that addiction in rats was as much related of their being held in tiny cages, as to the inherent "addictiveness" of opiates

the funding was withdrawn, and doubt cast as to Alexander's integrity

one could speculate that it is not popular opinion that the way to reduce drug dependance in humans is to improve their general quality of life, such that they don't feel the need to compulsively take drugs in the first place

Comment Re:Actually it wouldn't... (Score 1) 799

not to diminish your point or anything, but the Dark Ages weren't quite as dark as all that.

There was still much pan european trade and flourishing culture all over the place.

most of the whole dark ages = lack of civilisation propaganda was from the venerable bede, and he had a very definate agenda for promoting a view of history that england went through a period of terrible darkness before being brought into the enlightment of the christian church

actual archeology reveals that life for most people carried on just fine once the romans had left.

Google Street View Shoots the Same Woman 43 Times 106

Geoffrey.landis writes "Terry Southgate discovered that his wife Wendy appears on the Google Street View of his neighborhood not once or twice but a whopping 43 times. From the article: 'It seems as if the Street View car simply followed the same route as Wendy and Trixie. However, Wendy was a little suspicious that the car was doing something on the "tricksie" side. Several of the Street View shots show Wendy looking with some concern towards the car that was, well, to put it politely, crawling along the curb. "I didn't know what it was doing. It was just driving round very, very slowly," Wendy told the Sun.' The next best thing to being a movie star — a Street View star!"

Comment Re:50-fold savings? (Score 2, Insightful) 305

This is the same government that made a deal with Microsoft to pay them regardless of whether Microsoft's software was actually installed. That doesn't sound like the kind of logical decision making that leads to entertaining the notion that 230 students might not need 192 servers after all.

I can see a possible case where that might make sense.

If for example the cost of auditing what each machine was running was more than the discounted price offered by microsoft, ie just pay us a flat fee for every machine you have, dont worry about auditing it.

Having said that of course, I doubt that the deal microsoft worked out is anything like that fair.

However I would imagine part of the cost saving involved, is the schools are not being sued for unlicenced copies of windows, when they have 300 copies of office, but only 200 licences

Not that it makes it any less a protection racket from microsoft, but it might not be an entirely stupid move on behalf of the education department


EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) 308

captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of EVE Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, 'Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded,' meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, EVE Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised 'large fleet battles' that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions."

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