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Comment Re:How is this useful? (Score 2) 31

The alleged utility in verifying crowd-sourced images is a distraction, piggybacking on the occupy wall street thing, from this obvious commercial reality. Microsoft and Technicolor do not give a damn about keeping riot police honest by verifying cell phone pictures. They want to automate the otherwise expensive process of assessing fair use.

Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

Comment Re:A fool and his money... (Score 1) 827

You should still do that experiment double-blind. Otherwise you're just playing into the unscientific thinking.

Trying to "double-blind" a comparison of the ones and zeros on either end of the cable may sound extra scientific, but in the real world it has no meaning or utility. This is to science as cargo cultists with halved-coconuts over their ears are to air freight. You have successfully identified a genuine component of science; double-blindness is very important in any situation where the experimenter can plausibly influence the results (such as with subconscious social cues) but you're applying it in a totally meaningless fashion. The experimenter in this case is not going to have any more influence on the ones and zeros under investigation than a coconut headset would have on the planes bringing holy cargo.

If the experimenter were trying to make a subjective judgment about audio quality, you'd want them to not know which cable they're testing (blinding) and you'd want anyone who comes into contact with them to be similarly ignorant (double-blinding). But since this is a comparison of raw data we're talking about the experimenters' knowledge is totally irrelevant - except to people whose only understanding of blinding is that it is "more scientific."

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