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Tracking the Harm Games Do 118

Every so often, video games are accused of causing all sorts of negative behavior in children, teens, and adults. These accusations are typically predicated on statistics that sound much more damning than they actually are. In that vein, gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun did their own tongue-in-cheek statistical analysis, complete with pretty charts and graphs. Quoting: "As part of my research I thought to compare the sales of each GTA game with what the divorce rate must have been when each came out. As you can see each new GTA game has been directly correlated with an increase in divorces. ... An often ignored statistic (and you have to ask why it’s being ignored by the games media, don’t you?) is the sheer volume of PC games being released. We’ve all noticed the British population is abandoning the church, turning instead toward shopping, DVDs and knife crime. But few have thought to check for a connection between PC sales and the numbers of people attending their local Church Of England church on a Sunday. When you look at the data there’s little doubt left that as the publishers continue to release more and more PC games each year, our nation’s faith is being increasingly eroded. And at what cost? If only a graph could tell us that."

Comment Re:Halliburton? (Score 1) 438

Not at all, I was actually asking if anyone knew any more about who/what was involved. The other thing is that BP may attempt to offload responsibility on Halliburton and other contractors, that's all.

No black helicopters or tinfoil hats or anything, just trying to find out a bit more. I've noticed that a lot of folks here on Slashdot are pretty clued up (no sarcasm, I learn a lot from reading the comments here) and thought I'd ask if anyone else had anything to add. I was particularly curious to see if anyone could substantiate the claim that a commenter made on the Indy site about Halliburton having bought a company that specialised in this kind of repair work.

Apologies if it looked like I was trying to make a point, that really wasn't my intention. Reading back over my comment I can fully understand how it appeared that way though!

Comment Halliburton? (Score 1) 438

Apologies if this is old news, but didn't Halliburton actually do the work on the pipe that broke? According to The Independent it would seem so:

A commenter on that story asserts that a week before the trouble occurred, Halliburton bought a smaller company who specialise in these kinds of repairs, but I've been unable to find any details about this. Anyone got anything on this?

Comment Re:My view (Score 1) 334

You've probably been through the various options already, but if you need ID to get served in bars and pubs, and get into clubs, have a look at these guys if you haven't done so already:

It may also be useful to apply for a provisional drivers license too if you haven't done so. I'm ancient, and for various reasons don't drive, but my provisional license is reasonably useful.

Hope that helps anyway!

Comment College Project? (Score 1) 139

Ok, it was clever in a sort of averagey way, not massively funny or amusing. No Iron Nappy being changed or the kid being sick in the suit or anything that would cause it to go viral in the way that bodily fluids do.

Maybe it was just a part of someone's college project or something.

Comment Re:My view (Score 1) 334

It's not just the Biometrics, it was the database behind it (the National Identity Register) that would log every use of the cards/access to the database e.g. at borders, checkpoints, when opening a bank account, getting into a club, being carded by the police at a political meeting etc... Oh, and fines of £1000 if you don't keep your records up to date.

In other words: you're tagged for life, citizen.

Comment Re:Finally Slashdot. (Score 2, Interesting) 334

Most of this was also in the Lib-Dem-drafted Freedom Bill:

* Scrap ID cards for everyone, including foreign nationals.

* Ensure that there are no restrictions in the right to trial by jury for serious offences including fraud.

* Restore the right to protest in Parliament Square, at the heart of our democracy.

* Abolish the flawed control orders regime.

* Renegotiate the unfair extradition treaty with the United States.

* Restore the right to public assembly for more than two people.

* Scrap the ContactPoint database of all children in Britain.

* Strengthen freedom of information by giving greater powers to the Information Commissioner and reducing exemptions.

* Stop criminalising trespass.

* Restore the public interest defence for whistleblowers.

* Prevent allegations of ‘bad character’ from being used in court.

* Restore the right to silence when accused in court.

* Prevent bailiffs from using force.

* Restrict the use of surveillance powers to the investigation of serious crimes and stop councils snooping.

* Restore the principle of double jeopardy in UK law.

* Remove innocent people from the DNA database.

* Reduce the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 14 days.

* Scrap the ministerial veto which allowed the Government to block the release of Cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq war.

* Require explicit parental consent for biometric information to be taken from children.

* Regulate CCTV following a Royal Commission on cameras.

Comment Re:How do IDs infringe on privacy? (Score 2, Informative) 334

One thing that often gets missed is the fact that the ID Cards legislation allows for:

- fines for not keeping the database up to date with your details, roughly £1000 un UK money

- logging details of every occasion that the ID card is used to access the National Identity Register, e.g. id you get carded at a political event, open a bank account, details get logged.

The other issue was the spiralling costs of the system, and yet another issue was the complete ineptitude of the UK Government in keeping the data safe and secure. They have already lost personal details (names, addresses, details of children etc) of 2.5 million benefits claimants on DVD-roms they left on a train.

In addition to all these issues, was the simple fact that the cards provided almost no benefit at all to the average citizen. Kidz wanting to buy Booze already have ID cards that cost far less via private schemes (and that don't keep details of every transaction on a database either).

It really is a hugely extensive population tracking device, completely at odds with the ideas of privacy and freedom, and with little real benefit for anyone except a bloated State that wants to extend its tendrils into every aspect of our lives.

If you still really think that this massive Orwellian/Kafkaesque system is a good idea, then check out Terry Gilliam's excellent film 'Brazil'... :)

Comment Blunkett wants to sue (Score 5, Interesting) 334

What made me laugh was the report that David Blunkett (the Labour Home Secretary that gave birth to the scheme) wants to sue the Government for the thirty quid that the card cost him: Oh, and it's worth remembering that the Tories wanted to introduce an ID card system (sans database) back in the 90's.

Study Shows Standing Up To Bullies Is Good For You 458

It will come as no surprise to anyone who's ever talked to my grandpa, but a recent study has shown that standing up to a bully is good for you. Although being bullied can be stressful and lead to depression, children who returned hostility were found more likely to develop healthy social and emotional skills. From the article: "In a study of American children aged 11 and 12, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, compared those who stood up to aggressors with those who did not. Children who returned hostility with hostility appeared to be the most mature, the researchers found. Boys who stood up to bullies and schoolyard enemies were judged more socially competent by their teachers. Girls who did the same were more popular and more admired by teachers and peers, the researchers found."

Comment Re:Electronic Music Production (Score 2, Insightful) 443

ORAC, my creaking old Vaio TR1MP, with it's hamster-driven 900Mhz processor and 512 meg of RAM could run Orion beautifully with a couple of instances of Toxic III and a few other VSTis. No glitches, crackles or problems with latency... Fruityloops was a bit more of a chore, as was Ableton, but in general the performance from a small laptop can be damned fine. Plus laptops have USB connectivity for additional soundcards, hard drives and even small USB keyboards, plus they can run existing software/VSTis... Why anyone would want to try and make music on an iPad is completely beyond me. Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

Comment Re:SDINAL (Score 2, Informative) 148

Seeking bona fide legal advice would definitely be worthwhile, but airing the idea in the community and talking to others who have remade games is also a sound policy, since other advice and issues may be raised. I think this is a case of 'and' rather than 'exclusive or'!

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