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Comment Re:Imagine (Score 1) 264

I'm not familiar with the design of the replacement for the Canadian long-form Census so I'm not going to address that in particular. I do want to address your assertion that a voluntary survey is the same as a self selected survey. In a self-selected survey any member of your universe may choose to become a respondent and you typically will not have any non-response followup (the people that come and bug you if you don't answer the survey.) Now a voluntary survey simply means that you are not required, by law, to answer. So you can have self selected voluntary surveys, non-self selected voluntary surveys, and non-self selected involuntary surveys. I don't believe that the concept of a self-selected involuntary survey really makes any sense, so a it's probably safe to say that a self selected survey must be voluntary but the converse does not hold.

In both voluntary and involuntary surveys you will experience non-response. This is a problem since you now have a portion of your universe which you are unable to measure. There are various ways to adjust estimates to try and reduce the non-response bias, but the best is to go back out and try to convince people to respond. I don't know about Canada, but the only difference the legal requirement has in this process in the US is that if response is required by law, we add a line along the lines of 'Your response is mandated by law.' There are fines and jail time that go along with them, but to the best of my knowledge they're never used. In fact, at least for business surveys, the fine never even is mentioned since many businesses would rather simply pay the fine than spend the time to respond. Really, the only way you'll have an additional problem with a voluntary survey is if the people who only respond because we say they must are different from the people that will not respond regardless.

I'm a little surprised that they made it voluntary, but that alone isn't sufficient to destroy the quality of the survey. If nothing else, I'm curious to find out what exactly they did. Fortunately I've got this wonderful Internet thing to help.

Comment All that was sold before was costumes! (Score 1) 221

The only thing they charged real money for before in BF Heroes was just the costumes. I don't know how many people would spend real money to dress up their virtual character, but I can tell you that I was not one of them. There really must not have been that many people that wanted to pay for clothing for their character.

The pricing for the weapons and bandages and such were so cheap. It took 15 to 20 minutes of playing to be able to buy the upgraded weapon for your character that was good for 7 days and a package of band-aids. It looks like the prices have shot up 10x. So now you'd have to play 150 to 200 minutes to be able to buy that upgraded weapon. That's a level of time where it feels like you've actually earned something. Why do so many people complain on the internet?

Anyways the game kind of sucks and so I don't care much what is happening with it now.


Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 152

I've given serious thought giving the mod martyrs exactly what they ask for. I haven't decided to make the plunge just yet, usually aside from asking to be modded flamebait the post doesn't deserve it at all, but it's very tempting to smack people for the behavior.


Genetic Glitch May Prevent Kids From Learning From Their Mistakes 500

jamie pointed out an interesting piece being featured in Newsweek that claims a "genetic glitch" may prevent some kids from learning from their mistakes to the same degree as others. "If there is one thing experts on child development agree on, it is that kids learn best when they are allowed to make mistakes and feel the consequences. So Mom and Dad hold back as their toddler tries again and again to cram a round peg into a square hole. [...] But not, it seems, all kids. In about 30 percent, the coils of their DNA carry a glitch, one that leaves their brains with few dopamine receptors, molecules that act as docking ports for one of the neurochemicals that carry our thoughts and emotions. A paucity of dopamine receptors is linked to an inability to avoid self-destructive behavior such as illicit drug use. But the effects spill beyond such extremes. Children with the genetic variant are unable to learn from mistakes. No matter how many tests they blow by partying the night before, the lesson just doesn't sink in."

Getting Inked for Tux at OSCON 108

OSCON isn't just a gathering for talks on topics like Creating Location-aware Web 2.0 Applications on an Open Source Geospatial Platform and fightin' words from the stage; it's also an excuse for some interesting social gatherings, like this year's Community Choice awards (organized and sponsored by the corporate overlords at SourceForge, as you might recall, and with Slashdot's own special category), at which, among other festive activities, attendees were offered the chance to get open-source-related tattoos. There are shots of some of these up on the SourceForge Community pages, and — with some overlap — even more in this set at Flickr. (My pasty bicep^h^h^h^h^h shoulder is the one now adorned with a circled head of a happy Tux ala IBM; I was expecting it to hurt more than it actually did.) Anyone with techie tattoos, please disclose below.

MPAA Scores First P2P Jury Conviction 335

An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA must be celebrating. According to the BitTorrent news site, the Department of Justice is proclaiming their first P2P criminal copyright conviction, against an Elite Torrents administrator. The press release notes, 'The jury was presented with evidence that Dove was an administrator of a small group of Elite Torrents members known as "Uploaders," who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group. At sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2008, Dove faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.'"

Stephen Hawking Thinks Aliens Likely 579

OMNIpotusCOM writes "Noted astrophysicist Stephen Hawking thinks that alien life is likely, albeit primitive, according to a lecture delivered at George Washington University in honor of NASA's 50th anniversary. It begs the question of if we need to consider a Prime Directive before exploring or sending signals too far into the depths of space."

Submission + - Iraq vet gets bionic hand

mcgrew writes: "CNN is carrying a report about a new prosthetic device, called an 'i-LIMB', that user Sgt. Juan Arredondo, who lost his real hand in Iraq, likens to the robotic bionics in 'Star Wars' and 'Terminator'. 'My son, he goes nuts about it,' the Sergent said.

'To have this movement, it's — it's amazing,' Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. 'It just gets me more excited about now, about the future.'

Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.
And I thought my eye implant was cool! Welcome to the 21st century!"

Submission + - Dell catching on to the "No Trial ware" sc (

certain death writes: "It looks like Dell is finally catching on to the fact that people do NOT want a bunch of "Trial Ware" on new PCs. They are now offering a PC named "Vostro" that comes stripped of the crapware and with either Windows XP or Vista installed. The initial config is a bit short on memory, coming with only 512 megs, but it seems they are listening to people now. This may be in response to the fact that Wal-Mart has started providing low cost computers with only OpenOffice installed, and no Trial software. The base model starts at $399.00 and comes with a 19" LCD. This is still a bit more than the Wal-Mart model, but perhaps better quality hardware. That remains to be seen.

From the Dell advertisement:

You spoke. We listened. Introducing Dell Vostro — not just a new line of small business PCs, but a commitment to do more for your small business. They're powerful, completely customizable and backed by dedicated small business-trained technicians. Right now, get a Vostro 200 Mini Tower powered by an Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor and complete with a 19-inch monitor for just $399. But hurry — this offer ends today!"

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.