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PC Games (Games)

Journal Journal: How to reduce unwanted wars

In the old days kings used to lead their soldiers into battle. In modern times this is impractical and counterproductive.

But you can still have leaders lead the frontline in spirit.

Basically, if leaders are going to send troops on an _offensive_ war/battle (not defensive war) there must be a referendum on the war.

If there are not enough votes for the war, those leaders get put on deathrow.

At a convenient time later, a referendum is held to redeem each leader. Leaders that do not get enough votes get executed. For example if too many people stay at home and don't bother voting - the leaders get executed.

If it turns out later that the war was justified, a fancy ceremony is held, and the executed leaders are awarded a purple heart or equivalent, and you have people say nice things about them, cry and that sort of thing.

If it turns out later that the leaders tricked the voters, a referendum can be held (need to get enough signatories to start such a referendum, just to prevent nutters from wasting everyone elses time).

This proposal has many advantages:
1) Even leaders who don't really care about those "young soldiers on the battlefield" will not consider starting a war lightly.
2) The soldiers will know that the leaders want a war enough to risk their own lives for it.
3) The soldiers will know that X% of the population want the war.
4) Those being attacked will know that X% of the attackers believe in the war - so they want a war, they get a war - for sufficiently high X, collateral damage becomes insignificant. They might even be justified in using WMD and other otherwise dubious tactics. If > 90% of the country attacking you want to kill you and your families, what is so wrong about you using WMD as long as it does not affect neighbouring countries?

Journal Journal: Lock in on Windows XP instead of chasing Vista 1

What people should do if they ever want windows is INSIST on XP instead of Vista!

If we hijack the Windows bandwagon from Microsoft, then Microsoft will be like a BIOS vendor when it comes to Windows. Anyone remember "IBM compatible PC"?

If almost everybody stays with XP and DirectX 9 and doesn't move on to Vista, then Windows XP+DX9 could become a defacto standard that even Microsoft can't get rid of! Just like Intel can't get rid of x86 - they tried and failed with their Itanic, and when IBM tried to switch to MCA.

Then the jobs of people doing Wine, Crossover office, Cedega and more become a lot easier - they have a fixed target instead of multiple moving targets.

Be realistic and ignore the fanboys out there, there are many valid reasons for wanting Windows. XP will continue to make a good substitute for Vista, unless more and more people start switching to Vista.

But there is no Linux substitute for Windows yet, BUT if enough people stick to XP, it becomes far more likely for there to be one.

Just a look at Vista will tell you that Microsoft is no longer improving things significantly or meaningfully, so we might as well freeze Windows, and be able to spend more time and resources on innovating elsewhere.

So everyone, start telling Dell, HP et all to preload and sell XP instead of Vista, and tell your friends to insist on XP instead of Vista.

There are already other valid reasons to prefer XP to Vista, for example: A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection

User Journal

Journal Journal: don't feed trolls. don't feed trolls. 4

Especially anonymous cowards.

But when they're so bored as to browse my slashprofile for material before trolling and are as STUPID to think any occultist is wiccan... :P

Damn moderator status and -1 browsing! :P


Journal Journal: Right now, all I can say is, "Wow."

I was given the priviledge of seeing the first sub-orbital, commerical, manned flight. SpaceShipOne.

The entire experience just blew my mind.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The rebirth of a webpage...

All those of you who didn't ID me already on orkut, I'm messing up the Dec 20th reference. :P

In college I had a webpage. And things were fine. Graduate said college and no more webspace. Buy two domains (one because it came with the webspace and the other because I didn't trust the webspace provider to let me retain the primary domain name I desired). Now I have happy private email again. Except for the web contact points. Which get spammed mercilessly. To addresses I don't even have set up except under catch all.

Why do I still have catch all on? Because I found out that my bank sent my financial details to a different account in that domain because of an email address slip-up.

Back to my original mind thread. I don't have webpages set up now. The pages from my college years aren't really applicable and I'm not even sure I want to put out the information in that format again.

I attempted at a light webpage: links I want to keep track of, wines that I enjoy, and a statement about the RIAA. That last one was definitely a mistake as the statement turned into an essay discussion on why they are shooting themselves in the foot and making us pay for the hospital fees.

So still no personal web pages.

Then something like Orkut comes along. I'd love to direct people to my personal web pages to find out more about me rather than post everything and anything on orkut. But then they'd have my domain name. The smarter ones would be able to link my domain to other places as it is not a widely used name. So the idea is to friend link so that I can lock that information. Well, Orkut has a history of leaking information, my email for example. It isn't so bad having my email visible here, but with a real name and photo attached, you're just asking for trouble in giving one more piece of information.

Back yet AGAIN to the thread I wanted to get out. How do I start up my web pages again such that they're scalable? Another reason I have the two domains is so that I can have one with my IRL identity intact and family update friendly and the other with more of my esoteric pursuits (and that would have my religous monogomous family at odds with me) but not my real name nor my gender.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Who are the real thieves?

If I copy something I do not deprive the owners access to their original/copy.

Whereas if I steal something I deprive them of access to it.

In fact, introducing more restrictive copyright laws or increasing copyright terms could arguably be closer to stealing (than copying), as it does reduce/remove the public's access to things that once would have rightfully been theirs.

So who are the real thieves?


Journal Journal: Power coding eve

It's 4:50AM PST. I've been up since 9AM. I've been coding since 10:30AM. Despite starting this morning with an allergy induced migrane (which drove me home in case the OTC drugs failed and I had to take something stronger), I have been coding solid. Okay, that may be a slight exageration. It takes between 6 to 10 minutes between my compiles and I am trying to optimize an ancient piece of code. In the time that it takes to compile, I have occasionally had the free time to make something to eat, quickly confirm with my mother what I am buying my brother and sister for Christmas, find out that the insurance company is closed so I don't discover why they sent me two differing health insurance cards, and writing the first ever (if I can actually get it out this year) of my Yule Greeting letters.

See, I am what many would call pagan. I'm not any of the top five religions and have beliefs that some would call faith based and I would not since I believe they have a root in science as yet undiscovered. Many of my relatives are blissfully ignorant of my non-Christian (since most of them are Christian) beliefs. Since I am most decidedly not Christian, I am quite aware of many adopted traditions that are "pagan" in origin. In any case, I have decided not to reference Christmas explicitly seeing as it is merely a time when work is shut down so I have time to spend with my family... and the traditional gift giving. And censored anything that might tip the more devout that I am heathen-like.

Many of my relatives are also not aware of the notion that people dating often share the same house these days. Yet another omission.

Other than my mother, I am pretty much the only computer geek in the family. All my friends that I would normally write to would understand my humor. I find myself trying to explain what a pre-IPO company is to the relatives and wonder if they will stare at my sarcasm html tags

Since misery loves company (or shared burden is lessened the more that carry.. take your pick), I'm wondering what your holiday censorships are.

Well, I've just found 6 more items I can optimize in the code, but since I have to check the delta on each of them with proprietary compilers and language, that will likely take over another hour and I think it is time for a long nap break :)

The Media

Journal Journal: the new PC term: "undocumented" immigrants 3

In the California recall race, a kinder, gentler reference has surfaced for illegal immigrants. A quote from sfgate: "'Illegal' doesn't make sense," says Thomas Brill, a Sacramento lawyer, who dislikes the term. "They're not illegal people. They're just here without documents, without legal authorization."

Um, isn't "without legal authorization" the equivalent of "illegal?" Let's take a look at Merriam-Webster: "not according to or authorized by law." Looks pretty damn equivalent to me. Just like on a military base, if you do not show authorization (even if you have it) then you are not permitted entry and doing so may have a number of guns trained on you instantly. Remind me not to hire Thomas Brill if I need legal representation. And possibly to recommend him to my opposition.

Today was the first time I ever even heard a valid argument for granting a license to an illegal immigrant: because with a drivers license you are able to register a car and more illegal immigrants would obtain a license specifically so that their cars will not be confiscated for lack of registration. Because we all know that a license and taking tests doesn't automatically make you a safe driver or even one who obeys the laws as Bustamante would have you believe. I can look out on 101 and 280 where the average speed is 15 miles above the speed limit to get any example.

I think that offering licenses opens up a whole new area of possibility for fraudulent id and identity theft. I'm not worried so much about terrorists and frankly consider them a scare tactic into getting lots of freedom-eroding legislation signed (though I believe that they are more likely to get ID in California because of something like this). I think that offering a state service to people who already don't and won't ever pay taxes is yet another drain on the economy.

I hear about that lawyer from the same sfgate article thinking that the illegal immigrants he represents *deserve* to be compensated because the plaintiffs consciously decided to take a ride without a seatbelt.

A "mean-spirited change to the driver's-license law in 1994?" I'm tired of people bring race into this argument and using it for political agenda. I'm tired of hearing opponents say that prop 187 was mainly to try to keep the Latino population out of California. I'm sick of hearing politicians say that they support non-emergency services for illegal immigrants while campaigning.. especially when they were against them during regular office.

I'm a Seattle, WA, USA born citizen. My family is full of legal immigrants. My workplace is full of legal immigrants. My SO is on an H1-B. I'm sick and tired of other people trying to skirt laws and get privileges that law-abiding people are having such a difficult time even obtaining.

And Georgy, when are you going to reply to my email about this issue? I'm an absentee voter. That means I'm 80% likely to vote according to staticics. And I'm voting sooner than others because I'll be out of the state during election week.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mom's got a mod case

My mother, over 50 years in age, software engineer from day 1 at a job, has a plexiglas case with blue neon lighting.

When I first saw mod cases, I thought, "Cool!".. Then I realized how odd they would look in places not completely done in the same type of motif. And it certainly looks odd on my parents thick hardwood table with various other computer miscelania scattered around it.

My mother has always been getting the 2nd best just after it was marked down due to new things coming out and then upgraded her purchases to top of the line once I was employed and out of the house. Part of it is because she is a gadget geek. Another part I'm sure was because my Dad, 3 years her senior, was not getting a high enough refresh rate on his FPSes. I never suspected my mom would go for something flashy like a modded case. Then again, I never thought my dad would get into FPSes when I watched him struggle with jumping in the learning part of Halo for a month.


Journal Journal: Scary 1984 dream last night... 3

Not of neon colors and big hair, but of the Orwellian kind...

I drempt that everyone had a microchip embedded in them. I was one of the few that had escaped having one. My luggage was exhaustively searched and mussed up by screeners as I tried to board a plane. Other people could get immediately waved through with the magic of a wand chip reader.

Some reporter was trying to interview passengers and then have her henchman swipe a reader to get the identification of the person making comments much to the commentator's discomfort. When she tried to get me to comment, I declined and the guy tried to read me but since I didn't have a chip, he couldn't. I lied saying that I had a dampener and that I should be allowed my privacy and anonymity while flying. I was suddenly pursued for identification.

I desperately tried to get away from them and get on board my plane but there were undercover operatives everywhere. I went to a boarding area where you had to have a ticket to get past to get away from the reporter, but some old guy there insisted he was with me and tried to get me to check in my luggage (assumedly so they could go through it again to try to find some identifier). I ran away from him to get on board a differing flight and yet another guy tried to board with me and tried to buy a ticket on the spot to get on an already over booked flight claiming he was with me. While I was insisting that I did not know him and tried to board my flight, I noticed that the luggage I had been carrying was missing. I frantically searched for it and in the middle of such, woke up.

I was very unhappy with this dream where want for privacy made you a target for investigation and am reminded of articles in the news of people who did not want to be identified by drivers' liscenses were subject to both greater scrutiny and sometimes not even allowed to board.

User Journal

Journal Journal: better than thou...

Is condescension nature or nurture? I've certainly run into it a lot lately.

Experience 1: Watching anime with acquaintances. Remarked that the episode just seen was one of the most depressing ever. Someone else quipped that Evangelion was more depressing. I asked why he thought that because I certainly couldn't remember anything comparable to what I'd just seen. His answer: "If you don't think it was less depressing, then you didn't understand it."

What did I do to get such a snobby response? This retort didn't give episode nor theme example. Maybe he could have been right, but after a comment like that, I'm hardly likely to bother with his opinion again. Good quote to summarize my feelings by Jane Austin:

"Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition."

Experience 2: I commented recently that I stopped reading CNN a long time ago not only for their lack of good news, but the fact that they didn't even appear to run their articles through a spell checker. Not a grammar checker, a spell checker. We're talking words split randomly and letters reversed at will of typing and this is a professional site. No sane checker would get through that. Yes, I'm OC enough that I bothered to check.

The actual comment is here:

I guess some people feel that their typing is professional and get uptight about any comment as to such.

Experience 3+: I get a lot of people thinking I'm a guy due to my nick. Little do they realize it is just my actual name hashed through the Speak 'n' Spell code. And you'd think they'd look a little further and wonder why a guy would choose to have an email with the name "Luthien" in it as well (maybe they haven't actually read LOTR). Because of the masculine sounding handle (or so I'm told.. I disagree, but I've had the nick since age 6 so I'm biased) I get a lot of "male" attacks when someone disagrees that ran along genitalia size. At least it is better than the RU hot come ons when I use some other nicks. But some of the slashdot comments reflect someone thinking they are obviously in the superior, especially with a comment directed toward me along the lines of, "You'll understand when you hit puberty." For Christ's sake, mapping their age to mine, I not only hit it before them genetically, but I seem to still be ahead if they're going to spout that crap.

So I'm curious about what other slashdot women do (and on more than just slashdot): do you inform them of their fuckwit status or do you take Jane Austin's route?

On a more disturbed note, I find politicians doing the "I'm in command so my paid information on this topic is better than your college education," route. And this is after it takes them 6 months to get back to my letters.

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Over the shoulder supervision is more a need of the manager than the programming task.