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Comment Re: The Witcher 3 (Score 4, Insightful) 99

What is either a coincidence or perhaps a trend, both CDPROJEKT RED and Flying Wild Hog are Polish companies.

Piracy used to be rampant in Poland, partially because people were too poor to spend $60 on a game, but partially because some games were never published in Poland and thus unavailable legally. Publishers of localised versions were using most outrageous DRM solutions - as a result many games I bought 10-15 years ago are unplayable today.

Guys running game companies in Poland today suffered these issues when they were kids, which might explain their stance.

Comment Re:DRM ahoy :( (Score 1) 551

You can definitely make a tiny sensor array with higher technical resolution than traditional ISO 400 print film grain... maybe even ISO 100. The catch is, you'll have to light up the scene to retina-searing brightness levels like a color movie set from the 1930s, because your effective f-stop will be insanely high

No, you cannot match the resolution because the insanely high f-stop implies insanely high loss of resolution due to diffraction. At low f-stop, the optics determines the resolution and you can improve it by making the iris smaller but smaller iris results in the diffraction loss and there is an optimal f-stop with maximum resolution. Higher f-stop will not make it better.

Comment Re:Fewer stops, not more, and flat rate payment (Score 1) 400

Damn, I would love this. Student UPASS (universal bus pass) for my city is roughly $80 for a 4 month term. It's less than half the price of buying monthly passes, because it's a non-refundable, non-negotiable fee. Every student at both universities in town pays it.

According to recent financial statements, oeprating costs for 2015 were $80M, with fare-box revenue of $33M. In a city of 500,000 residents, our public transit taxes would have to go from $94 per person to $150 per person to make it free to use all of the time (modulo increases in costs due to higher use). That's like, the price of taking a date to the movies and getting popcorn.

Comment Re: Yippie! (Score 2) 126

You seem to confuse SteamOS with Steam runtime. Steam runtime is, as you noted, a common set of libraries, while SteamOS I'd a distribution, so it unifies everything, from the kernel, through libraries, a compositor, to the unified user interface.
Yes, just having a standard set of libraries is not enough, this is why Valve removed Tux icon or the whole Linux platform support concept from their store: they just cannot guarantee that a game will work on any weird Linux setup out there. Even Ubuntu (ie the only officially supported distribution) proved to be a moving target.

Comment Re: configure; MAKE; make install (Score 3, Interesting) 289

And how is car production different from today software solutions? Microsoft or myriad of open source developers create an OS, Oracle or someone provides a database, someone else an integration toolkit, somebody else designs a schema and a frontend and finally a hosting/SaaS vendor puts it all together and configures the whole package.

Comment Wrong community? (Score 1) 149

I am sure there are quite a few modelling enthusiasts among slashdotters, but there are many forums dedicated to model railroading, with subforums focusing on automation and landscaping/structures, complete with video tutorials of cool tricks (some of them really simple).

If you have a chance to kickstart your collection, I would definitely suggest investing any saved money in DCC equipment - it makes many things simple which would be a chore otherwise.

My advice though is similar to the one I would give to someone getting into programming, electronics or any other hobby: don't overengineer, start simple, but with options to expand, be ready to discard everything you created initially and to start again from scratch. Maybe start with some flat but elaborate layout to practice control of points and trains? Or quite the opposite, start with a simple loop, maybe with a siding or a passing loop, but surround it with interesting terrain? Trying to get your first layout to have both complicated track layout and elaborate landscape features may result in a disappointment. You obviously have some fundamental questions to answer too (shunting or mainline? A standalone diorama or a module? etc.)

Comment As a Canadian (Score 1) 311

I don't actually end up seeing the cost of any of these items. My government-supplied health care pays for all of them. Except, I suppose, the dental x-rays, but those are covered by my workplace dental plan.


I suppose if we're talking about making medical technologies less expensive, I'd lobby for adding prescription medication to the government-funded health care plans. Prevention is much less expensive, and currently, low-income people can go see a doctor for free, but they cannot afford the medication that will keep them out of the emergency rooms.

Comment Passenger Weight Limits (Score 3, Insightful) 373

I've read through the early comments here, and I see a lot of vitriol for "obese" people, and statements that people should only be allowed a weight limit of 100kg, or worse, 200lb, beyond which there should be extra charges.

Go to hell, each and every one of you that supports that idea. I'm 6'3", and my body fat percentage hovers around 15%. I _sink_ in fresh water. And I weigh 240lbs, before any luggage is included. I am healthy and fit. I already suffer with airline seats that are far too small for my frame, with my knees in the back of the seat in front of me, and the headrest sitting firmly between my shoulder blades. And now you have the temerity to think that I should pay _more_ for the privilege of flying, because you think people that weigh more than 140 pounds are fat and unhealthy, and it's their own fault?

Get real.

Comment Re:We've only got ourselves to blame (Score 1) 381

Couple at-will employment with the fact that health insurance is employer-provided and private insurance is devastatingly expensive, and basically employers can hold employees ransom.

Even if someone does have transferable, marketable skills, it will likely be a number of months before they land a new job and complete enough of the probationary period to qualify for benefits. A broken arm during that period will cost you $10,000 if you're not insured. God forbid you have to deliver a baby, because then you're looking at a six-figure medical bill.

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