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Comment Re:Also kicks out scores from third party purchase (Score 1) 85

Isn't that a good thing though? If you didn't by the game on Steam, why should you be able to contribute to the rating on Steam? Amazon does the same thing, it's called a verified purchase. To allow anything else is opening up the system for abuse.

It's still a verified purchase... You get a Steam key on Humble (and other stores) that you then have to redeem at Steam, download the game from Steam, launch the game via Steam, etc. Steam sure as hell knows you have the game.

Comment Re:Also kicks out scores from third party purchase (Score 4, Interesting) 85

one of my initial thoughts as well.

I suppose a better way to deal with the problem is to throw out reviews that are tied to a clearly inactive steam account.

A person who actually uses steam will have recorded play histories and times. A bullshit ratings inflation service will have hundreds of dummy accounts that they use to inflate ratings with, and little to nothing else. If those accounts need actual play history, especially recent play history (given valve's stated goals with this to capture changing ratings over time), then the cost of these ratings inflation services will balloon.

That suggests an idea that they should be doing already, with data they already have access to: rather than providing a single rating score (or even two with "recent" and "overall"), provide a graph of average rating vs. time played. If the average score among people who've played it less than 20 minutes is 4 stars, but the average score among people who've played it two hours is 2 stars, that's a lot more indicative of rating inflation and what the real game is like... Conversely, if the average score among short-term users is low, but the score shoots up among people who stick with it, that may indicate a difficult learning curve that most people give up on, or may indicate that it's a niche title only for users really into that genre, etc., etc. Either way, it would be very useful information to have.

Comment Also kicks out scores from third party purchasers (Score 5, Insightful) 85

... it does not include reviews written by those who obtained the product through a Steam key. What this means is that reviews penned by those who got a game after backing it on Kickstarter, for example, or via a developer's website, do not affect the Steam user review score. Again, the thinking behind this change is sound. Valve knows that some developers were gaming the system -- that is, they were giving keys to friends or shady paid services in exchange for positive reviews.

Although certainly a valiant effort, one unintended result is that it will ignore reviews from people who purchase keys via Humble Bundle or other third-party stores. Perhaps that's a negligible portion of the total, but for some games, it may not be. For example, Humble frequently puts up indie bundles for a few dollars, including games that many people wouldn't necessarily buy individually on Steam (because of, for example, the lack of reviews). But at $10 for two games you want and three you've never heard of, you figure, why not? If you end up liking one of those games, your review won't matter... again making it difficult for hidden gems to get a foothold.

Comment Re:Russia would have nada If the US system was hon (Score 1) 531

The circumstances matter, and selecting which circumstances the audience does or does not know means the ethical perception of the issue can also be selected. This was seen directly in the "Collateral Murder" video, where WikiLeaks made extensive use of editing to minimize the evidence that the targets were hostile, and emphasizing the evidence that they were innocent. They also edited around the protocols used to confirm a target, and intentionally made no acknowledgement of the fog of war, letting the viewers know from the beginning that the victims were innocent.

Isn't "Collateral Murder" by definition referring to the victims who were not the targets, hence "collateral"? Accordingly, isn't it irrelevant that the initial intended targets were hostile, if a whole bunch of innocent people got killed afterwards?

Comment Re:FaceTrace's Trace satellite destroyed (Score 2) 338

An anomaly on the pad at T-3 minutes when the rocket isn't even turned on would suggest that it just might have been something else.

If you look at the explosion videos in slow motion, it starts near the middle or closer to the top of the rocket, not near the engines. My guess is a static discharge during fueling, which could still be underway at T-3.

Comment Re: Rape sympathizers (Score 2) 229

Assange committed a "crime" that isn't a crime in the US. He lied to a woman to convince her to have sex with him. Apparently that's "rape" in Sweden, and not in the US.

Nope, that's a lie. He had sex with an unconscious woman, knowing that before she fell asleep, she told him 'no'. And not only is that a crime in Sweden, it's also a crime in the US. And it's also a crime in the UK, where Assange tried exactly the defense you're offering: he said that because she didn't fight him off later, it shouldn't be a crime. The UK High Court, in its opinion upholding extradition, stated:

Our view is, as we have set out, that a jury would be entitled to find that consent to sexual intercourse with a condom is not consent to sexual intercourse without a condom which affords protection. As the conduct set out in the EAW alleges that Mr Assange knew SW would only have sex if a condom was used, the allegation that he had sexual intercourse with her without a condom would amount to an allegation of rape in England and Wales.

As the EAW sets out the circumstance that SW was asleep, s.75 which applies to rape is also material: [quote of statute removed].
As it is alleged SW was asleep, then she is not to be taken not to have consented to sexual intercourse.

Comment Re:SJW Bullshit (Score 0) 229

I posted this in another post below, but I just wanted to reiterate it here, for those who might not fully understand the situation.

It might help your understanding of the situation to understand that the CIA and NSA now use fake rape and sexual assault/harassment claims as their preferred method of character assassination (much easier, less messy, and just as effective as actual assassination). It happened to the poor bastard IMF head who made the VERY stupid mistake of challenging the supremacy of the U.S. Dollar.

What would you call someone who repeatedly changes their story, offering details, then recanting them over and over? The "poor bastard IMF head", maybe? He originally said nothing happened and he had never even seen his accuser; then that he may have been in the room while she was cleaning but he doesn't pay attention to housekeeping staff; then that he was naked in the room while she was cleaning; then that they had consensual sex; then that they had "rough" consensual sex during which he tore her rotator cuff. That doesn't sound like someone who is the victim of character assassination - you'd expect that such a victim would be able to maintain a constant story.

It also happened to Julian Assange and others.

Assange who has admitted he had sex with an unconscious woman? If all it takes to be a honeypot is to fall asleep around Assange, then they're not really entrapping him into doing anything he wouldn't do otherwise, are they?

Comment Re:I lean the other way. (Score 1) 148

In general (not talking about actual crypto here), the whole password/passcode policy thing is nothing more than a CYA and comfort food for the paper pushers.

You make a password more complex than 8 characters and a cap (or number or special)... you got the easiest password to break. The monitor post-it.

But if you ignore the enforced artificial complexity and suggest pass phrases, you get easily remembered, but very strong passwords. For example, even assuming a brute force attacker limits their search space to 26 characters plus punctuation - and further limits it to common english words - if you have a pass phrase like "everyday for breakfast, my cat, muffin, enjoys eating tuna dipped in milk", the resulting Shannon entropy is 365 bits. By comparison, a keyboard-mashed password of "a8gh!#hZ0-" only has 40 bits of entropy. Even though the former has a very limited search space, the length is sooooo much longer that protons will decay before you brute force it.

Comment Of course it's not unstoppable (Score 5, Insightful) 236

Sure, they use caller ID spoofing so that we, the recipients, can't block the number, but you know who knows exactly who the spammers are? The phone company, for two reasons: first, they're routing the calls from end to end, so they know the real source rather than the spoofed one. Second, and more importantly, they're billing them for the calls. They're not sending out bills for thousands of calls to the spoofed IDs, but the real ones. And while individually, those calls are cheap, the tens of thousands a day add up and the phone company makes a lot of money from the spammers, all while telling the FCC and consumers that their hands are tied.

Freeze their assets until they release the billing information to the state AGs. That'll untie their hands really quick.

Comment Purchase without having to purchase? (Score 2) 13

Subby: "without having to purchase HTC's VR gear."
Article summary: "track objects with the HTC Vive base stations... new hardware can work with the Vive's base stations and sensors... products that work together with HTC Vive."

Cripes, Subby, we know no one reads the articles, and at this point, we don't even expect Subbys to read the articles, but can you at least read the text that you're copy-pasting into the submission box?!

Comment Re:Not a Violation of 1A because why? (Score 1) 447

The government's "request" was the reason the private company complied. That makes it a government action. The government, not facebook, shut down her speech, though obviously Facebook was involved..

But only Facebook would have standing to sue, and they agreed with the government, apparently.

Comment Re:HoloLens vs Vive?! (Score 3, Interesting) 53

I agree $3000 is really steep, especially for the product. It's rather disappointing so far. The field of view just isn't there. However, the implication that VR is somehow greater than AR I strongly disagree with. I think AR is a much harder problem to solve and has really great potential applications. I think people are ready to start moving away from their all-digital worlds and in to something grounded in the physical world a little more. People don't like having their phone in their face all day, or staring at a computer screen all day. There just isn't a better way to get the information they want at the time they want it. VR (so far) is just further isolation from your physical world by moving your body in to the digital world, whereas AR is bringing your digital world out in to the physical world.

As someone with a Vive, I definitely agree. The Vive is great for fully escaping into a digital world, and the sense of immersion is amazing. Just last weekend, I lost several hours playing in a few different apps and was shocked to take off the set and find it was dark and I missed usual dinner time.

But I'd also love to have a system that I could use for work. I've been looking at Bloomberg's Oculus Rift multiscreen experiments, as well as solutions like Virtual Desktop, and while those are great for, again, disappearing into a virtual workspace, nothing offers something that could work in an office environment: specifically, something with multiple virtual screens that I could surround myself with to view multiple documents and PDFs simultaneously, but still be "aware" when someone pokes their head in my office. AR (or a VR headset with low-latency front facing cameras) offers that possibility.

That said, this offering is disappointing, both from a price point and from the offered apps on the website. $3000 is too much for anyone but a developer who expects to earn money back from being an early adopter, and the current apps all seem to be either "project a video on a wall" or "play with 3D modeling" and are useless for typical work. How about "place documents in midair"? It should be easy, given that they're 2D and (other than scrolling) static images. Be able to do that with a dozen documents at once, and you've got a multi-monitor replacement.

Comment Re:Construction Use (Score 1) 82

However, my sister is an audiologist and pointed out something else- there really hasn't been a study of noise cancellation in loud environments, and it's benefit to ear health. While the cancellation is creating opposing waves and all, there's no study on the actual sound pressure that gets to the ear drum and possible effects of that, even if it is in an inaudible range.

With all due respect to your sister, active noise cancellation generates out of phase acoustic waves of equal amplitude to the incoming wave, and acoustically, the waves cancel out in the air, before they hit your ear drum. There is no energy left to hit your ear drum, and accordingly, no possible hearing damage (provided the phase is correct, which it is, because even with some temporal slop, they reduce most of the energy. Otherwise, they'd be amplifiers, and you'd know it right away).

More specifically, the generated waves are not in the inaudible range - i.e., they're not generating some infra- or ultra-sonic frequencies that do some sort of magic to your ears. Instead, they're the same exact incoming waves in the audible range, but with a negative amplitude. So, you get your loud wave at 100Hz and your loud negative-wave at 100Hz, and they cancel out to 0 amplitude, or 0 dB SPL. With no pressure, there's nothing to hear, and no possible way any energy could get transmitted to the delicate nerves in your ear. Accordingly, they can't cause any harm (unless, again, there's some delay such that that phase gets flipped back around, but again, you'd know it immediately).

Comment Re:If only (Score 1) 82

By the way, there's another damn patent that should not have been granted because nothing new was invented: we already have noise-cancelling headphones as well as stuff to detect certain sounds. Combining them in this way is clever, but not more than that. Worth a cookie, not a patent.

And possibly valuable. In which case, the question becomes, "if all the parts already existed, and there's money to be made from combining them, then why didn't anyone do it already?" The answer is that it may not have been obvious, and/or you don't realize that there's something new needed to make the combination work.

Comment Re:I believe you've already found tge problem. (Score 1) 536

This is the problem with your analog headphone jack -- there's no vendor lock-in possible! This grievous error must be stopped.

Apple almost had this going on with the original iPhone... And what could Apple do? ... Apple can make money without lifting a finger now... I can't wait to hear how Apple spins this as being a good thing at the next iPhone announcement in a few months here.

Yeah, Apple sure are horr- wait, what was the summary?

In the Android camp, phones like Lenovo's Moto Z and Moto Z Force and China's LeEco have already scrapped the 3.5mm headphone jack; to listen to music on the company's three latest phones, users need to plug in USB Type-C headphones, go wireless, or use a dongle.

So, Apple has done nothing yet, while Lenovo and LeEco have, and yet all you rant about is how terrible Apple is, and not them. So, which is it: hypocrite, or Android propagandist?

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