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Nickname Scheherazade
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Signed On Feb 28, 2001, 23:01
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User ID 9185
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News Comments > etc.
22. Re: etc. Oct 9, 2017, 22:49 Scheherazade
Didn't you guys know?

Violent video games cause violence.
And sports cars cause car accidents.
And guns cause mass shootings.


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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
4. Re: Evening Tech Bits Oct 4, 2017, 04:16 Scheherazade
DangerDog wrote on Oct 4, 2017, 03:38:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 4, 2017, 02:16:
Another Windows VR headset enters the fray with Samsung Odyssey.

I've read this headset is the one to own: AMOLED, super responsive, 110 viewing angle, highest res.

Probably the only one to get, the rest look really sub-par. Still $499 is a big ask considering there really isn't a killer game for VR.

I tried war thunder in VR. Can't compete with monitor users.
For one stupid reason : Zoom is disabled in VR mode.
In sim mode: no zoom = you can't identify your targets at distance (unlike normal monitor users who can zoom and identify you at a distance).

No zoom -> Can't compete -> won't use.
Sucks, but that one missing feature made me sell my headset. One minor design choice by the game studio and bam, useless hardware.

(DCS had unintelligible text on the HUD and instruments, and required potato quality to maintain FPS, so that wasn't a reason to keep it either. I had nothing else that interested me that I could use it for, and it sat for ages unused.)

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
17. Re: Morning Tech Bits Sep 29, 2017, 22:07 Scheherazade
MeanJim wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 13:12:
Scheherazade wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 11:53:
Moores law has been a thing of the past for a while now in CPU land.

My 6 core CPU from ~2011 performs indistinguishably similar against the latest offerings in real world application. It's been half a decade.
(Barring esoteric stuff like video transcoding - in which case it's only /most/ of the speed of the latest offerings.)

I'm not that old, but I remember when speeds would double every year, and that was so normal that it was expected like the way people expect the sun to rise next morning.

Moore's law isn't about speed, it was an observation that the number of transistors on a chip double roughly every two years.

That hasn't played out in CPU land. Browse the various CPUs. Transistor counts are rather stagnant. Minor variance, with some series even losing transistors (eg. 3930 -> 4930 lost quite a few).

More importantly, the relevance of Moore's law was that doubling transistors = shrinking feature size by -30%. Shrunken size meant better voltages, better thermals and higher clocks (back then, when things like tunneling were not an issue), which meant better performance.

Regarding a single core, you can't throw more transistors at it to make it faster. At some point, you can't think of anything to use the extra transistors for.

In any case, short of applications that are primarily width limited, like GPUs, or specialized vector processors, there is no need increase transistor count. You really need the transistors you have now to switch faster. Since shrinking feature size isn't getting that done anymore, things are rather stagnant.

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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
6. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Sep 29, 2017, 11:12 Scheherazade
Simon Says wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 00:09:
LittleMe wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 23:39:
Redeye9 I'm not sure what you mean. In a communist system you can not sue your employer. Corporatist system is similar in that regard. jdreyer was correct in his label.

There is no employer in a communist system... It works like socialism, you have decentralized as much as possible decisional powers in the form of small local cooperatives run by the workers who vote when a choice must be made. There is no hierarchy below or above that.

People like Noam Chomsky and some center to left wing libertarian for a free market anti capitalist system call that an "Industrial democracy".

The only difference between communism and socialism in this regard is that in a communist system, there is no currency, money or trade. Wherehas in socialism, money, currency and trade remains.

Socialism, communism, democracy, etc, are generally hollow words.
They have with them associated ideologies, but in practice they are never followed.
What use is a label for a system where in practice it isn't followed?

There are a number of applied socialism cases.
Some are leftist (power to "the people" - but in practice the government), some are rightist (power to the "state" - but in practice the government).

Even the nazis were fashioned as "socialist", but they were about as far right corporate-partnership-fixes-everything as things can go.

Gererally, no nation ever that has fashioned itself as socialist, has actually been socialist.
Same is true for communism and democracy.

The only governing case where what you describe as communism ever took place, was in Catalonia during the Spanish civil war, where there was an anarchist "government", where people ran industry by popular vote, and abolished "money". You would get an "I worked voucher" from work, and you would show it to any establishment you went to, and that establishment would serve you for free. Local popular consent was how all decisions were made.

Unfortunately for them, the communists invaded and took over, because they needed the Catalan industry for their war effort. It's hard to put up a resistance when every military action is by volunteers that vote among themselves about what to do. Reaction times are slow and indecisive.

The classical cases of applied communism are rather nationalist. From the British civil war, to the French commune, it was not what we think of today.

The modern interpretation of communism happened for a good reason. It comes from a situation where people in industrialized nations worked 16 hours a day since childhood, weekends didn't exist, you made enough money as a family to cover rent [for a hole in the wall apartment] and buy some clothes and some food (not as much as you needed), no money for a doctor, you could be fired on a whim, and there were no morality based protections (eg. "Hey girl, fuck me or you're fired"). The owners never had a hand in the factory day to day operations. So naturally, people were tired, upset, and knew that the very existence of their bosses was patently unnecessary for the day to day operation of their industry.

However, that circumstance never played out. The labor movement in industrialized nations managed to get enough concessions from the powerful to de-pressurize the angst. Largely thanks to the success of communism in less industrialized areas, causing power brokers within industrialized nations to realize that they could be replaced if they refused to yield.

Within less industrialized nations, communism was more in tune with the idea of a republic. I.e. A state that is 'the people', not 'the crown', not 'the land', etc. Where the people own the land, rather than the entire country being the private property of a monarch (or some 3rd party entity).

Russian communism was the people taking the country from the monarchy, much like the U.S. revolution.
(The U.S. constitution has more "what people today think of as communist" (but is actually "republican") stuff in it than people like to think. Eg. People are the state, the state owns all the land - the very reason why 'eminent domain' is 'eminent').
The government that the people of Russia established in their revolution was designed to fix the problems that they saw in society : overworked, underpaid, no job security, no one to help you.
So they demanded a system that fixes that. Less hours, livable wages, inability to be fired, a safety blanket for when you're sick or disabled or old. And that's what they got. And it worked - until newer generations took it for granted and abused it.

In the USSR, people said that they were "striving to achieve communism", and that they were _not_ living as communists yet. But that they themselves are people were "communist".

The crux of applied communism in the USSR was that : You could not own your own business (*unless you had friends in high places). You could only be a state employee.

In practice, the USSR did have state run corporations. The low level workers did not run the facilities. Day to day operation was similar to normal corporatism, however the heads of the operation were not the owners of the corporation. In fact, nobody and everybody was the owner. No people running the corporations would be cutting checks to the employees from any personal account. The state would pay everyone.

This was the fundamental flaw. No one within a corporation had anything to lose. It wasn't their money, they were paid regardless, and they couldn't be fired. From management to the hands-on people, no one had any stake in things.
In fact, there were laws against being of working age, able bodied, and not working. You literally had to show up for work, but you didn't have to do anything once you were there (because nobody above you even cared).

As a sole proprietor (think : farmer on his own land), what you produced would be sold to central distribution, and would be sold on to state owned shops, which were ran by state employees.

In China, "communism" is like a joke title. As a person, you were basically on your own. No safety nets.
You basically got the shitty restrictions, but none of the benefits.

One of the reasons why male children are favored under the 1 child policy was because of the lack of a state provided safety net. Males would usually inherit the parent's property and bring their wife. So when you're old, your son and daughter in law would help you at home. If you had a daughter, she would end up moving in with her in laws, and you would be left old and alone.

Their initial motivations, again, were more republican than communist. They didn't want a monarchy. They didn't want a foreign established puppet government. They didn't want a foreign military government. The people wanted their own country with their own government (for better or for worse).

Cuba was simply people one day finding themselves living on an island where the foreigners owned all of their land, all of the businesses, and effectively owned the government. They wanted their stuff back, and wanted a system that would not allow that situation to happen again. Again, more republican than communist.

Democracy as a label has been equally irrelevant. To be a democracy, the people have to be in charge of the laws.
Representative democracy exists for practical reasons. You can't fit the entire population inside the house and senate, so you send messengers that represent the people (senators, etc).

Note that democratic election is irrelevant. How you choose your representatives doesn't matter. They could be elected, they could be randomly selected, they could be born into the role. So long as the representatives relay the people's law demands to the legislature, and the legislature enacts those laws (and ONLY those laws), there is a functioning democracy.

In practice, every democracy on earth has the legislature going off on its own. The only time it ever considers what people want, is during an election cycle. And even then, it's only to pander and forget as soon as the election is over. The people lack the legal/procedural ability to criminally punish their representatives when they create laws that aren't representative. Hence the hollow title.

In the U.S., the only directly democratic counter to non-democratic laws that the people have is jury nullification.

All government on earth basically boils down to this :

As the government, do what you want, to maximize your own power and opportunity.
Temper your actions enough to not upset people so much that they either hurt your progress, or hurt your self.
To your people, always maintain the appearance of a moral actor, regardless of the reality.

One of the things that I love about history, is that you can read about corporate cronyism, people suing each other over dumb shit, insider dealing, etc, going back even before the roman empire.
You an pull up court cases from 700 years ago, recorded on scrolls, where one farmer in England is suing another farmer in England because one put a fence post too close to an inter-field easement. (Did you know there were over 10'000 laws on the books in England back then? About as many as apply to the average person any given place you are standing within the U.S.)
People like to think that things have changed a lot... but they really haven't. Not with the people themselves. We're the same as we've ever been.


This comment was edited on Sep 29, 2017, 11:33.
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
14. Re: Morning Tech Bits Sep 28, 2017, 18:55 Scheherazade
CJ_Parker wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 18:14:
HoSpanky wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 14:21:
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 12:23:
I thought we got that with the 1060-1080 series from Nvidia and that was just within the last 2 years.

While the performance leap (and low power usage) of the 1000 series was indeed a big, awesome surprise, nothing comes even close to the mind-boggling difference the first 3dfx card offered.

While I agree that the introduction of 3dfx Glide was a pivotal moment in graphics rendering at the time, I would say we are also in hyperbole land with a blanket statement like that ("nothing comes even close to the mind-boggling difference the first 3dfx card offered").
For example, when hardware T&L made its way onto VGA cards (first or second GeForce IIRC) and we got our first pixel-shaded water in games (like in Morrowind) it definitely came close to the first 3Dfx experiences in terms of jaw-dropping.
Or the release of the awesome, almost legendary, GTX/GTS 8800 cards which also introduced all new levels of image quality and efficiency.

Geforce 256 had T&L. I believe T&L is what made the GeForce the "Ge" force.
The Riva series that preceded it handled mostly texture workloads.
However, at that time, texture workload was still by far the main problem, and hardware vertex transformation made little impact (nearly indistinguishable) over software vertex transformation. Geometry complexity was just so low back then.

8800's were really good. You could also enable quadro features in their bios for cheap CAD acceleration.

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
12. Re: Morning Tech Bits Sep 28, 2017, 17:44 Scheherazade
Beamer wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 17:25:

Yes, but...

For me, the Holy Shit moment was Doom. We went to a Super Bowl party where a kid had Doom. I'd actually purchased it the week prior, but the 3.5" floppies I bought were corrupt and since it was from the mall I hadn't had time to go back and exchange it. But I didn't know what Doom was, I was only buying it because it had the name id on it. I had no clue what to expect. Literally entering with zero expectations.

So were most of the kids at the party. Some knew Wolfenstein. Maybe a third. The rest just knew Mario and Sonic. The kid said Doom was running around killing things. Great, so was Bionic Commando, big deal.

Yeah, it was a big deal. Jaws dropped. Minds blown. We ran around for a while just punching stuff, amazed at how cool punching stuff looked.

To date, no video game experience compares to that. None come close. Yeah, the first time I saw a 3D accelerated game it was awesome, but not that awesome. Maybe because I had a crappy S3 Virge card before going 3dfx, so there was something bridging the gap. And next steps were still cool, as I remember when Hardware T&L was a big deal, and when colored lighting was a big deal. I remember spending time just firing the blaster down a hallway in Quake 2 and watching the lighting move down the hall, or watching the flies buzz around a dead Strogg. All those were big moments, but nothing blew minds quite like Doom.

For me, wolfenstein and spear of destiny were my transition towards doom, which made doom less of a shocker.

BBS multiplayer was what made doom amazing for me (rather than the game's initial impression). Same for warcraft2 (pre battle net).

Once I started gaming multiplayer on BBS', single player games just about stopped mattering (barring some amazing ones).

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
9. Re: Morning Tech Bits Sep 28, 2017, 16:50 Scheherazade
HoSpanky wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 14:21:
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 12:23:
I thought we got that with the 1060-1080 series from Nvidia and that was just within the last 2 years.

While the performance leap (and low power usage) of the 1000 series was indeed a big, awesome surprise, nothing comes even close to the mind-boggling difference the first 3dfx card offered. The comparison screenshots of Tomb Raider and Mechwarrior 2 were all I needed to see to convince me I needed to save up for a 3dfx card. There wasn’t any YouTube back then, so I was unaware that it wouldn’t only LOOK better, but it’d run at a MUCH higher framerate. No one even paid attention to framerate back then, outside of “it’s unplayably slow”.

3dfx changed everything. It’s a shame they’re gone, but they held onto the Glide wrapper for too long. Nvidia’s GeForce came along with 32 bit color and support for high-poly curves in Quake 3, and it was over.


Lan party, playing quake.

We're all playing 320x240 or 640x480. The fast computers are hitting 15 fps.

One dude had a voodoo. 800x600 at 30 fps. With _dithering_ (never seen before. Before that every texel showed up like as if you're playing mario)

Minds exploded. There was always a group of people standing around that machine looking at it like as if it had teleported there from the future.

Nothing in computing has ever replicated that moment.

It was "holy shit!" in a pc component.

It's like country bringing F16s to WW2.

It wasn't just a proverbial game changer, it was an entirely new game.

Imagine someone dropping a GPU today that can run today's AAA titles in 8K resolution at a steady 120+ fps with free damn-near-perfect anti-aliasing, 40 bit color, and 10 bits per channel color output. And lets you run two of them together for 240 fps.
... Then 2 years later drops another GPU that lets you do the same at 16K rez. That's like what 3DFX did.


This comment was edited on Sep 28, 2017, 17:13.
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
3. Re: Morning Tech Bits Sep 28, 2017, 11:53 Scheherazade
Moores law has been a thing of the past for a while now in CPU land.

My 6 core CPU from ~2011 performs indistinguishably similar against the latest offerings in real world application. It's been half a decade.
(Barring esoteric stuff like video transcoding - in which case it's only /most/ of the speed of the latest offerings.)

I'm not that old, but I remember when speeds would double every year, and that was so normal that it was expected like the way people expect the sun to rise next morning.

Per core performance has stagnated for a while now.

Clock speeds are running up against quantum mechanical issues that effectively cap them off under 'normal' conditions. Quantum mechanical issues are also effectively restricting feature size and voltage. Most per-core performance improvements are from cute computation design trickery (of which there is only so much you can think of, and returns are limited), not from raw speed increases.

CPUs adding cores does only a little for overall performance in most cases. Most tasks are in-order, and can't be divided and ran in parallel. Adding more cores adds heat, which drives down per-core clock speeds.

GPUs scale almost linearly with core count. Their workload is 'embarrassingly parallel', and they can bump performance by bumping their core count, i.e. bumping physical size (ignoring whether or not it makes economic sense to do so, it's simply 'possible').

Basically, for the current materials and methods and architecture that we have today, CPU single core performance has 'arrived'. There won't be anything more than incremental small improvement until there is a move to a replacement technology.

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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
5. Re: Morning Legal Briefs May 2, 2017, 21:32 Scheherazade
Cutter wrote on May 2, 2017, 11:16:
How the fuck is Theranos still a thing at this point?


Because there are sufficient intelligent people assessing technological viability.

The news headlines that crucified Theranos were a knee jerk reaction to Theranos' diagnostic statistics, made with the impression that conventional tests are much better.

Little did they know...


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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
2. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Apr 26, 2017, 01:20 Scheherazade
Bill Borre wrote on Apr 25, 2017, 22:52:
Interesting article. I wonder what the problem is with just giving this guy his data back?

It would be admitting that megauplaod had legitimate users - something that would go against the government's case.

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News Comments > Overwatch Bastion Nerf Inbound
5. Re: Overwatch Bastion Nerf Inbound Mar 3, 2017, 14:43 Scheherazade
As someone who actually played bastion and did well with him, I miss the old bastion.

Removing headshots and adding spread to turret mode nerfed the DPS and effectiveness really hard. Bastion used to be an amazing ambusher, but now it takes 2x as long to kill your target from up close. 35% DR doesn't make up for taking damage for twice as long before you remove the damage source.

He was a much better ambusher before, which is really where he shines. Ambush, reposition, ambush, reposition, etc.

He was already a fine barrier buster before, and was even better when sitting behind a shield. They didn't need to "buff" him (to be clear, the bastion buff was really a hard nerf for turret mode...).

I get that recon mode is now better... but it's not that much better. Heal on the move (while you still can't shoot) is nicer, but you want to grab cover before you heal either way, so whatever.

Same thing with soldier... I preferred the old soldier with less spread. He had more effective DPS than new soldier when it comes to killing small ranged targets. Flanking and taking out supports is where he shined. That gameplay suffered with his 'buff'.

In general, I'm miffed about all the 'add spread' changes that Blizz has been making. If it were me, I'd be doing the opposite. Reduce raw dps and tighten up the spread. Make damage more sensitive to player aim ability. They seem obsessed with reducing the impact of raw hitscan skill and pushing positioning as the major factor for engagement performance.


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News Comments > Next Overwatch Hero Greek?
18. Re: Evening Metaverse Feb 21, 2017, 10:13 Scheherazade

descender wrote on Feb 21, 2017, 10:05:
What is there to even be offended about? The boy-loving part I guess? Greeks sexing up little boys must be one of the oldest jokes in history. Being able to see that they are generally hairy and love olive oil are really weird things to be offended by.

Racism and stereotypes aren't the same thing. I've no time or concern for people being offended over jokes. Most PC idiots are only interested in suppressing speech without even attempting to understand the message they are suppressing. The idea that "only right wingers can hate PC culture" is absurd. I think most people here know I am a staunch supporter of free speech, even if that speech is shitty.

It's a tragedy what modern Greece has become
So you would say that it's a Greek tragedy? Thanks, I got a new book of PC Dad jokes and I'll be here all week. :p

Here here.

djinn wrote on Feb 20, 2017, 11:56:
Needs bailout money from 'Reinhardt' for equipment.

The irony being that the last straw that perpetuated the Greek public sector collapse was a kickback scheme where Greece purchased German arms so as to funnel money out of Greece to Germany via interest payments. Which after the global financial crisis they suddenly couldn't afford.

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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
7. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Feb 3, 2017, 01:44 Scheherazade
Agent-Zero wrote on Feb 3, 2017, 01:29:
Scheherazade wrote on Feb 3, 2017, 01:26:
Agent-Zero wrote on Feb 3, 2017, 01:05:
Scheherazade wrote on Feb 2, 2017, 23:57:
We can be sure that the expert was either lying or retarded.

Also, you can't sue someone for giving their opinion - unless you can prove that they knew otherwise for a fact.


if he was lying, then its not "giving their opinion"... lying is sorta the definition of "knew otherwise for a fact"

Prove it. He could have easily "made a mistake". No intent, no crime.


you were the one who said you were sure the expert was lying or retarded

YOU prove it

I'll refer back to my earlier post :

"you can't sue someone for giving their opinion - unless you can prove that they knew otherwise for a fact."

The 'prove they knew' part is key.

Even if you can prove that an actual expert certainly should have known better, the expert need only say "I made a mistake".

Unless there was intent and the guy decided to write down his intentions in a diary, you won't be able to prove it - hence why the phrase "prove it" is on point.

To clarify, I was referring to 'Carmack googling how to secure erase a drive'.

The man is an expert among experts among experts... having to look up a command that basic IT guys know of the top of their head is a stretch.
Like claiming a car mechanic had to google how to change motor oil, or a carpenter googling how to swing a hammer.
It's just too basic - makes it incredibly hard to believe.

Keep in mind - I could be wrong.

If Carmack did in fact google secure erase for his own purposes, then he must have had a massive stroke of negligence and complacency - which I concede is in the realm of possibility for anyone. He's certainly aware of all the various logs that are kept in IT, meaning he'd be aware that he'd be producing an "orgy of evidence". Which again, seems an unlikely thing to do if one is actively up to no good.

edit : I'll end the posting here. I'm rambling on about earlier links that aren't even related to the non-literal copying element of the case (which is supposed to be the topic).


This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2017, 02:55.
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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
5. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Feb 3, 2017, 01:26 Scheherazade
Agent-Zero wrote on Feb 3, 2017, 01:05:
Scheherazade wrote on Feb 2, 2017, 23:57:
We can be sure that the expert was either lying or retarded.

Also, you can't sue someone for giving their opinion - unless you can prove that they knew otherwise for a fact.


if he was lying, then its not "giving their opinion"... lying is sorta the definition of "knew otherwise for a fact"

Prove it. He could have easily "made a mistake"(optional sarcasm). No intent, no crime.

What's obvious to computer literates, and what you can 'prove beyond reasonable doubt' to computer illiterate plebs, are two different things.
I mean that regarding both the original case, and regarding the idea that the expert was full of crap.


This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2017, 02:41.
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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
3. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Feb 2, 2017, 23:57 Scheherazade
(edit : Regarding Carmack needing to google how to secure erase. This is my opinion. Clearly I can't give physical evidence for it.)

We can be sure that the expert was either lying or retarded.

All it takes to secure wipe a drive is :

boot a linux live cd.
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/<the drive>
[maybe even run it a few times over... if that makes you feel better]

If I know that, carmack definitely does.

(edit : in general regarding secure erasure artifacts - not specifically this case)

You can prove that any drive has been 'secure erased in the past' with 2 simple conditions :

1) It contained compressed data (zip, video, etc) (secure erased data appears random - as does compressed data. Regularity allows for compression, which is why compressed appears irregular (random))

2) It has been quick formatted in the past, and subsequently used. This will leave dangling chunks of random data with no file system entry associated. If the header of such files is overwritten, it can't be identified, and ends up appearing as previously secure erased blocks.

(edit: regarding computer cases in court - not just this case)

Given that juries are vetted for zero bias (i.e. they would be picked from computer illiterates that have no prior opinions), the 'experts' are considered unbiased authorities on the truth that the jury defers to for technical opinion.

(edit : regarding false expert testimony - in general, not specifically this case)

Also, you can't sue someone for giving their opinion - unless you can prove that they knew otherwise for a fact.


This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2017, 02:08.
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News Comments > etc.
5. Re: etc. Dec 22, 2016, 10:48 Scheherazade

Well, L, and maybe B. G and T are a stretch.

Pigeon wrote on Dec 21, 2016, 15:18:
Fion wrote on Dec 21, 2016, 14:15:
I haven't read it yet but many of us Overwatch fans already knew that Zarya was gay.

How do you know it's Zarya?

Infusing IRL probabilities into the OW universe : hella butch woman = elevated chance of being in the L or T camp.

But then again, I would be tickled if the authors decided to go for the twist/unexpected angle and just reverse all the stereotypical appearances. Zarya turns out to be the only straight character in game. Widow killed her husband because she no longer liked men and wanted to shack up with Mercy and he wouldn't giver her a divorce. Morrison and Gabriel split apart Overwatch because they had a bad breakup. Reinhart is Phara's dad, but only in the capacity of a sperm donor - because Ana and Mei wanted kids. Symmetra is really a man. So on and so forth. Come on Blizzard. Do it. I want to read the forums afterwards and get a good chuckle. Make my Christmas.

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News Comments > Descent: Underground in Development on
21. Re: Descent: Underground in Development on Dec 22, 2016, 10:32 Scheherazade
Esoteric wrote on Dec 22, 2016, 03:13:
Why aren't there more modern games like Magic Carpet?

Why aren't there more modern games like [most of what Bullfrog ever made]?

(Personally, I loved Magic Carpet and Syndicate. Dungeon Keeper and Populous were pretty good too.)

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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
17. Re: Evening Safety Dance Dec 16, 2016, 03:42 Scheherazade
Quboid wrote on Dec 13, 2016, 00:22:
Scheherazade wrote on Dec 12, 2016, 14:54:
In any case, it's important to keep game theory in mind, as a filter. Simply accepting that someone is your enemy, because someone else tells you so, is insufficient. They have to actually _be_ an enemy - by their actions.


They do plenty of things that I'm not going to bother listing out. I don't mean they plan to declare war any time soon but there are plenty of people in positions of power who don't like us and as powerful competitors they will exploit any weakness. They wanted Trump elected because he has and will create plenty of weaknesses in the West.

The actions of the US and other countries are irrelevant. There is plenty about our foreign policies that I don't like but that does not mean we shouldn't care about danger, be it economic, political, cyber or military. Disbanding NATO won't stop the Vietnam war from being a colossal screw-up.

Plan to declare war (or are at war) is a primary criteria for being an enemy.

Simply competing for influence isn't being an enemy, It's just competing. And that's fine.

People like to conflate existential danger with danger of performing worse in markets. They're not the same. Although I get how the rhetoric can help sell things like sanctions, which help to suppress competitor market performance, certainly to the delight of some big money (and big donors). Sometimes it's the opposite effect, like if sanctions can topple a closed regime, then it could open a market to sell goods, which is also something big money likes.

Regarding disbanding NATO, Trump flipped on that ages ago. He's now pro-NATO.(Really, who knows what the guy wants...)
I can infer from his cabinet choices that he wants to grow the influence of large industry (well, at least the few big players that come to play ball), which honestly may or may not be good in the long run. Industry tends to not see national borders, and prefers the money to keep flowing, so he may prefer to normalize relations all around regardless. Industry also tends to not care about worker welfare (unless it needs to), a path which would provide for an ironic twist to the labor protectionist voter base that went so heavily Trump.

It's also important to keep in mind that the Russian military is in utter shambles. Practically, there is no amount of weakening Russia can do to the US or NATO that would make Russia competitive in a conventional force sense. Just look at their navy... the bulk of it is in storage or scrapped, with what remains hanging on with shoestring and sellotape. Their air force can't afford to fly and train. Every branch lacks support. Sure, they're powerful enough compared to the little places in the world, but that's not saying much.

As a side note, regarding hacking : Everyone is hacking everyone. And the sky is blue. You can always say "_____ was trying to hack us prior to the election" (Write in any nation you wish, odds are it's a true statement). ~Every country has an intelligence agency, and hacking is just part of what they do. Plus there are plenty of bored nerds doing it just for a laugh. Was/is Russia trying to hack the US? 99% yes (and we're hacking them too). Were they the ones who did the DNC leak? Not proven with any public evidence. Russia gets name dropped real quick, way too quick for forensics to back it up at the time they are called out - and that specifically is the eyeroll worthy part of things. It doesn't make any difference to me who did it, and if it's Russia, then it's Russia. It's the neo-cold-war behavior-isms that seemingly no one even pretends to try to make look neutral that are face-palm worthy.

Re the history stuff, you mentioned 'history of Russia being our enemy', so I went down the list of US/Russia conflict based interactions (proxy wars), and how they were not patently Russian aggression, but rather Russian involvement was more of a mixxed bag - often as a check against our own efforts (A 'pot, meet kettle' sorta thing...).

Most the other complaints that are not based on US/Russian interaction also had their reasons.

Cuban missile crisis (a Russian/Cuban interaction that we didn't like) was a hedge against our own missile installations in Turkey.

The communist purges were done to secure the country from any opportunistic efforts to restore the monarchy. While the effort was certainly Machiavellian, there was a real risk of the previous power players rallying support from those that had benefited under them (along with foreign supporters which didn't care for nationalization of industry and the idea that such concepts could spread to their own nations). It's certainly not unique to Russia. The Jacobins were far harsher in France... and they failed, the monarchy was restored some years later during the Bourbon Restoration (albeit the cat was out of the bag, and they never had the level of power of the previous monarchy). Point being, it wasn't anything new or unusual, as just about every country has had multiple events like this throughout history. It was rather common practice after any lord conquered another lord, to purge the family and supporters of the previous lord.

The initial totalitarianism, while labelled a communist trait, was actually a common symptom if revolution that you can see throughout history in various revolutions. Usually, incumbent power does not give up power, it has to be taken by military means. In order to face an incumbent military, the people need to coordinate into a paramilitary of their own - which requires leadership. Should they succeed, their subsequent civil leader is almost always their previous paramilitary leader. The initial period following, this leader still has the stature and loyalty of his military past, and like in a military, his word is final. But this is something that (unless well maintained) fades away as lower level power brokers vie for influence, and eventually the leader ends up depending on them more than vice versa. You can see this in how Lenin and Stalin were powerful figures, but by the time Gorbachev was in power, he was barely more than a bobble head for the party. In the beginning, the party fears the leader. Later, the leader fears the party. Again, not unique or unusual, historically speaking.

The only real dick move in recent history is Russia not letting Georgia leave freely. Then again, Georgia showed how it's no better during the situation with South Ossetia, so 'meh' to Georgia.


This comment was edited on Dec 16, 2016, 04:25.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
16. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 13, 2016, 19:53 Scheherazade
Pigeon wrote on Dec 13, 2016, 11:07:
Which one of those squares in Al Gore's house ? Also I take it operating in the glacial tundra that is Wisconsin in the winter is the only way the battery in a hover board won't overheat and explode.

AFAIK Al Gore's involvement was in legislation that gave the public access to the internet (instead of the internet being a defense-and-related only closed program).

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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
15. Re: Evening Safety Dance Dec 12, 2016, 14:54 Scheherazade
Quboid wrote on Dec 12, 2016, 09:30:
"Since when is Russia our enemy?"

Open a history book.

What, a grade school history book?

All we did was do our best to contain a political system that, if it spread to the U.S., would have put the industrialists (the people that pay our politicians) out of business.

But sure, let's break down some history : (The other viewpoint to what we are told in grade school)

Preface :
Russian communism was birthed from a society living under a monarchy, where people worked in factories 16 hours a day 7 days a week since childhood - for barely enough pay to not starve, make rent, and buy some clothes. The only way to get ahead was via military prowess (enlisting and working your way up). It was a popular (democratic) revolution where the unwashed peon masses took over (with the help of their family/supporters in the military) and created what in their uneducated eyes was what they considered utopia : No worries about work/food/shelter. All basics provided, no fear of starvation, abuse by some robberbaron, etc.

To western industrialists, the idea of worker underlings taking over industry, was an abomination. A reversal of the natural order.
Much like how monarchies viewed the U.S./French republics as abominations : the people rising above the monarchy was a reversal of the natural order.
This fear, that the incumbent powers could be toppled and made redundant by those beneath them - that was the source of the anti-communist effort in the west. Everything and everyone in power (in the west) stood against such a change - as a matter of self preservation.

In the span of a single generation, Russians elevated a largely backwater society into near complete literacy and a high rate of college education. They raised the common person's quality of life to a level they wouldn't have imagined possible just years earlier.

The flaw was that the system outlived its usefulness. After people are provided for, and after society becomes educated, the system could not answer a simple question : "Now what?". It had no future, nowhere to go. The method it used to bring about change (universal government employment, guaranteed wages, guaranteed jobs), had no room to grow. People wanted to take their new wealth and knowledge, and apply it to personal gain. They wanted to start their own private businesses and industries - but that was against the law. Newer generations grew up always assured of employment no matter how poorly they perform. People would go to work, sit on their hands, drink, screw off, produce damn near nothing, and get paid. People would go to college, become professionals, and be given jobs for which there is no demand. Lazy unproductive complacent workers meant empty store shelves, and unhappy people. People whose relatives in the west could buy things like jeans, could send them to the east, and make everyone jealous of cousin Vassily's new pants that they can't buy for themselves. Envy and unrest doomed communist Russia. Even though the west likes to take credit, pointing to its efforts as a success, but in fact Russia imploded under the weight of its own complacency.

WW2 :
We sat on our hands before joining the fight against mainland Germany, hoping Russia/Germany would mutually eradicate one another - running around picking up colonial assets in Africa - only entering the war against Germany ~8 months before it was over, mostly to grab some land before everything German can surrender to Russia.
(Aside : BTW, this is when the west promised Syria independence from Turkey if they help fight Turkey, so Syria joined the Allies. Afterwards Britain/France betrayed Syria and chopped up Syria into Lebanon/Jordan/Syria and turned the pieces into British/French colonies. The reason France hates Assad so much is because his father's government kicked out the French occupiers in the 70's).

Korea : WW2 partisan resistance to the Japanese forms a government after the war. It's a popular government behind which Koreans rally. US/Russia promise to cede control of N/S Korea to this government after custodianship expires. After expiration, Russia hands over North Korea. US Refuses to hand over south, and props up the U.S. South Korean provisional government. Korean people in SKorea protest. US SKorean provisional government kills around 150'000 protesters. Going as far as hunting down protesters that ran off to hide in caves. There are literally cave monuments to the people mass executed in caves. Korean proxy war ensues. (To be clear, modern NK govt is a steaming pile of shit, and I'm sure that in the long run no one in SKorea regrets how things went down.)

Vietnam : FOIA request came out a few years ago that showed that the in the 1st gulf of Tonkin incident the U.S. captain swam into a Korean bay and ordered any ship that comes within 10km to be fired upon - upon which the U.S. ship attacked a korean ship. And later lied about being attacked. The 2nd gulf incident (regarding 'aggressive' sonar contacts) ended up being literally nothing. Proxy war ensued. Communists eventually win... and nothing. People moved on with their lives.

Afghanistan : Afghan government enacts land reforms - abolishing feudalism. Religious plebs and their local lords protest because the Koran says that feudalism is the right way to live. They form an insurgency - emboldened by the Muslim takeover in Iran. Afghan president Taraki asked for Russian help in defeating the insurgents. Russia joins the Afghan government in the fight against Muslim terrorists (because it doesn't want 'another Iran' on its border). U.S. arms the terrorists, and bribes the afghan opposition party to leak battle plans to the terrorists, and later to assassinate key politicians. Russia finds out about the Afghan internal government treason, and kicks out the traitors. The Afghan army joins sides with Russian forces and continues fighting the terrorists. The war draws out and the Afghan people get sick of it, and get tired of Russia running the show. Russia gets tired of stingers shooting down their helicopters, and after a while Russia goes home. U.S. declares the 'Russian invaders defeated', and the afghan war over... Afghan army continues to fight the U.S. armed Muslim terrorists all the way until the 90's (long after the U.S. declared the war 'over' and forgot about Afghanistan.) And only a few years after the terrorists win : 9-11.

Point being, we've had to sell a lot of political containment and proxy wars to the U.S. public across the years. That in turn bleeds into the surface-level history we teach. Going beyond the surface, Russian involvement in our proxy conflicts hasn't been as malicious as is popularly presented here, and neither are we as nice as we like to think of ourselves. The 'big stick' era did not disappear - it simply moved from South America to the globe. It reminds me of a saying, something along the lines of : don't piss on someone and call it rain.

Modern capitalist Russia's greatest fault is that they are one of the few countries that has the means to stand up for itself, and actually has enough pride to try, even if it means economic losses. They are a competitor. They enforce their own laws, their own trademarks, their own copyrights, their own trade agreements, and that's annoying to business interests abroad who would prefer that Russia homogenize.

There is a canyon's worth of difference between 'being a competitor/annoying/standing up for one's self', and 'being an enemy'. Especially when mutually assured destruction makes it extremely unlikely that either the U.S. or Russia will ever be real enemies. At worst disgruntled neighbors (so long as NeoLiberal antagonistic policies don't get worse).

In any case, it's important to keep game theory in mind, as a filter. Simply accepting that someone is your enemy, because someone else tells you so, is insufficient. They have to actually _be_ an enemy - by their actions.


This comment was edited on Dec 12, 2016, 19:37.
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