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nerdbert

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  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 6:54am

    Convenience

    I think what the default techie crowd here is missing is what these "classic" consoles are selling to the non-techie crowd: convenience. The hardware is there, all the software is there and known to be working, and there's no tweaking. Just plug the device in and it will work.

    While I don't mind downloading software, tweaking it for my particular adapter and monitor and whatnot, your average Joe will see what it takes to get emulators working well and walk away and gladly pay the $100 to get easy access to those games.

    In fact, that's much of the attraction for consoles in general: the games you play will work well and pretty much the same in all setups, and nobody has an advantage because of a having a better rig (in general). No, the settings won't be optimal and the controls will be such that PC players will wipe the console guys if they play in the same match, but it's easy and "good enough".

  • Jul 3rd, 2018 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    So, lemme get this straight, you want the New York Times to protect it's legacy of championing free speech by... censoring an author?

    No, I want the NYT to use its corporate speech rights to counter the author's idiocy by showing it understands the importance of the First Amendment.

    Not that I expect that will happen. Too many "progressives" are far too happy to attack the basic human rights of people these days, and classic liberalism is sadly out of fashion these days being relegated to the libertarian crowd alone.

  • Jun 6th, 2018 @ 10:30am

    Re: There is no metric that can't be gamed

    Not only can every metric be gamed, nearly every metric is poorly implemented and selected because making a proper metric is incredibly hard work for management, especially when applied to a largish population doing all sorts of differing work.

    For example, in software the metric from management used to be how many lines of code you produced. That led to a proliferation of comments, which caused the comments not to be counted. That led to the elimination of macros and lots of continuation lines, which led to style formats being dictated, etc. Rather than admit that their metrics were stupid and not really measuring what they were alleged to measure, even counterproductive, management kept trying to dictate things that were in direct conflict with getting the job done properly.

    Consider the cops in this case. Do you think management was intelligent enough to set different quotas for the cops in sleepy suburbs and those working the party district? To account for the differences in drunken driving in December and that in March? To track changes in population, popularity of the various hangouts, etc? I doubt it very much. Just as the workers were trying to make their life easier, management almost certainly wasn't willing to do the work to make up a set of realistic metrics.

    All in all, I'm not blaming the cops in this situation without more data. Calling them lazy and unwilling to do their job is not warranted with this little information, and I think the article's author is showing his bias. Or does the author think that every article should only be judged on how many words it contains, no matter the subject?

    Just because cops were cheating on a management directive doesn't mean that the directive was either sensible or reasonable.

  • Jun 4th, 2018 @ 11:13am

    A third bite at the apple?

    Seems to me that something should be done to recompense the defendants after this many trials. Right or wrong, the government definitely has a massive funding advantage that can only magnify itself over time.

  • Jun 1st, 2018 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    Your comments are not germane in this instance.

    The Project Veritas folks released all the videos/audio. It is the government that lied about the contents. Reread that ThinkProgress report:

    The recordings, which were made by employees of the right-wing Project Veritas, purportedly show defendants discussing de-escalation tactics and their intent not to initiate physical violence with anyone unless they are attacked first. The prosecutor had previously told the judge that no recordings existed from the meetings where the newly revealed audio and videos were made.

    Further:

    “The Government has succeeded in misleading over 200 co-defendants, their attorneys, and three Honorable Superior Court Judges to believe there were only seven videos in its possession from Project Veritas,” attorney Andrew Clarke wrote in the filing. “Only by Order of the Court and more recently, its own disclosures, we now know the truth, that the Government withheld 69 additional recordings by Project Veritas and altered others.”

    In this case the Veritas guys are blameless and we need to blame the government and its prosecutors for both withholding and altering (!!!) the videos in question.

  • Jun 1st, 2018 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    When you politicize "Justice" to serve your partisan agenda, you get things like this. We've been seeing increasing politicization in recent years, and now it's just seen as the norm in that department to serve the current master.

    The question is how we get back to a bureaucracy that actually is non-partisan. Perhaps a first step is to prevent partisan appointees from "burrowing-in" to various departments at the end of each administration. Right now it's very typical for political appointees to become allegedly unbiased administrators at the end of each administration. Preventing that would certainly defuse things like Lois Lerner's IRS behavior and the crap storm that raised.

    Of course, routinely punishing Brady violators would be a huge deterrent if applied to prosecutors personally. It's actually quite disturbing that judges aren't more willing to slap down prosecutors for such a basic violation of Constitutional rights.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Chicago, the joke that tells itself

    Not quite true. You'll note that the convictions were based on Federal investigations, not state/city investigations. The city itself is quite corrupt, it's just that there is an entity outside the city and state that managed to get a conviction.

    This whole situation makes me ask if Reynolds v. Sims wasn't wrongly decided. If downstate Illinois had adequate representation in the state Senate perhaps Illinois might be able to police the corruption in Chicago. As it stands now, Chicago calls the shots at the state level and Chicago power brokers can deflect any investigation that they find inconvenient.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 7:00am

    Re: Nice priorities there

    I'm not terribly concerned about Trump's use of an unsecured phone dedicated to Twitter use. That stuff is way too public for his own good anyway. Heck, having Putin write his tweets for him would probably only help his popularity with his base.

    And this is just hilarious. 'Hey, so I know having foreign governments listening in to your calls may not be a big deal to you, but that same flaw allow US intelligence to listen in too if they care to'.

    As funny as that sounds, it's a far more consequential issue. If, as been alleged, US intelligence is caught as politically corrupt and serving just one master there will be a far, far larger crisis of confidence in government and very deep damage to our political system. I say caught only because the instances that have come before have been minimized by bipartisan agreement. Trump and his supporters are no fans of the established order and I doubt they'll be willing to give the intelligence community cover to escape the community's corruption. And a victory by Trump over the IC after an attack by the IC would give him the ability to reform the IC, which I doubt many folks will like on either side of the aisle.

  • Mar 26th, 2018 @ 6:51am

    Malice vs. Incompetence

    Either way, the book of examples of just how incredibly the New Zealand government has fucked up everything about this case at every single turn has now added yet another chapter.

    Normally you should never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

    This is not a normal case and I think we can rule out incompetence.

  • Mar 21st, 2018 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    A striking example of the Streisand effect in action. I'd never heard of Fstoppers before, yet now I have. I'd say that they've done a fantastic job of advertising themselves and their wares to a group of techno-nerds who never would have heard of them otherwise.

  • Mar 9th, 2018 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    I think you're wrong on the age thing.

    The FBI are teenagers. They want what they want, now, without working for it because they're special. And by the way, you geeks can provide it because of your magical abilities, and the fact that you won't is because you hate us!

    Christ, what an asshole.

    Nice, 4 word summary of the entire article. Should have been the title.

  • Mar 1st, 2018 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, Politifact. Nice unbiased source, and I love the quote in your first link: "The Second Amendment is fading as a wedge issue in American politics" is pretty laughable, is it not? I know of only one other issue that seems to divide folks as starkly and that's abortion. Both guns and abortion are pretty stark, defining wedge issues. Then there is the claim in the article that "The Democrats have avoided all gun control controversies assiduously." That's quite the howler, itself.

    Overall, your first link really doesn't support your supposition, especially in the context of our present discussion on political parties. On the first point, the NRA mailer in question made an assumption without support and applied that to Obama, but the article didn't note that the Kennedy bill would have banned even common deer rounds such as the 30-30 due to the standard to which the ammunition would be tested. So the NRA's perceived threat existed; they attributed it to the wrong person, Obama, rather than Kennedy, but they got the political party right. On the second point, Sunstein's comments were true made, and he only walked them back when he had to do so politically to get appointed, and even Politifact had agree. And on the third point, the NRA was factual. In essence, if not in strict literal truth, the NRA actually was correct about the Democratic party in general, but not about Obama's personal involvement in the rifle ammunition ban in particular.

    So we can't believe what Diane Finestein said on tape? Remember, what are called "assault rifles" are really just semi-automatic rifles. They are no different than the majority of hunting rifles except that they look more like military rifles, and there are proposals that would effectively ban semiautomatic rifles.

    In reality, the vast majority of guns sold are semiautomatics, so a ban on semiautomatics is essentially a ban on the vast majority of guns. This is especially true with handguns, so Politifact's parsing of what Feinstein said is one of those 3 Pinocchio type arguments: technically it's not all guns, but it's the vast majority.

    As for Australia and Obama's admiration of their laws, the restrictions are draconian: you need what they call a "genuine reason" to own a gun, and self-defense isn't a genuine reason. The vast majority of guns were confiscated in Australia under their laws, so support for their system is effectively support for gun registration and confiscation of the vast majority of guns in America.

    And then there's this little tidbit: according to YouGov, 82% of Democrats support banning all semiautomatic weapons, and 50% want to ban all guns. That's sort of the NRA's whole point in their propaganda, isn't it?

    So no, I still don't suspect that the NRA is fearmongering or lying any more or any less than Planned Parenthood. Both are fighting even the slightest infringement of what they view as basic rights in highly polarized environments, often in the face of political parties who are extremely opposed to them.

  • Mar 1st, 2018 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can I ask you to support the idea that the NRA is lying to its members? Not to support the NRA, but may I point out that various politicians such as Diane Finestein (a concealed weapons permit holder herself) have explicitely called for banning all guns?, we have Barak Obama praising Australia's gun laws that lead to gun confiscation, or Ted Duetch wanting to ban all semiautomatic guns?

    To say that the NRA is lying to its members that various politicians want to ban their guns is itself a lie, at least if we listen to the words above. There are a fair number of them out there who would do so given the chance, and they've been fairly frank about their desire to do so. I suspect that the NRA might be cherry picking the instances, but I wouldn't know since I don't follow them. The above 3 links were quick Google searches and just the top results. I suspect that more determined Google-fu would return a far greater number of results.

  • Feb 28th, 2018 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: 20 people killed in knife attack

    Yes, although not by that name.

  • Feb 28th, 2018 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You might consider why the NRA wields outsized influence in Congress and it's not money. The NRA is barely in the top 10 of political contributions, and Bloomberg alone dwarfs them regularly, and yet the NRA still wins. By money alone, teachers and public workers unions should be running the country if monetary contributions were the sole factor determining elections.

    Yet the NRA is considered a powerhouse. Why might that be? Because when they speak their 4-5 million members listen (something like that number, I don't follow them much), as do a much larger number of non-members. The NRA speaks to a fair chunk of the population it seems.

    You want to neuter the NRA? You'll have to change public opinion as to the reliability of the government to do the right thing, which is where this push for censoring the NRA's message comes in. I'd prefer robust disagreement, but it's frankly easier to demonize the other side to marginalize their message and that's what's being attempted in this case.

  • Feb 28th, 2018 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    NBC being afraid of the NRA in '73 seems ... unlikely. I'm wondering if there was something else going on inside NBC that Rowan either didn't know or didn't understand.

    The NRA has a long and varied history. In the early 70s it was a much more apolitical organization run by genteel folks who even endorsed the GCA of '68, and really didn't participate much in politics. In those days the NRA focused more on marksmanship programs and the Boy Scouts. It wasn't until the Cincinnati Revolt of '77 that folks turned the NRA into a more politically active organization.

    And I might point out that the NRA isn't really a Republican organization. It's a gun rights organization, and even a decade ago it endorsed about 25% of Democrats in various races (including my "Blue Dog" Representative). The parties have been sorting out much more strongly on some pretty basic issues in the last 20 years, and the the shift in the Democratic Party to more urban viewpoints has reduced the number of Democrats who meet the NRA's loose standard for endorsement (more supportive of gun rights than your opponent).

  • Nov 7th, 2017 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Way off base

    Actually, they are paid to say things, and often on social media to promote their work and the company they work for. That's why so much of this whole thing is problematic: these folks are the public face of their companies, and if they're out there speaking it can be difficult to decide if they're speaking as a representative of their employer or as themselves.

    Look at Trump. When he tweets is it personal opinion or the policy of the US government? If it's policy, Hillary would be under investigation or locked away, so it's probably some mixture of both. But in any case, he's creating a very confusing situation with his social media interaction, one that anyone interacting with the public would be wise to avoid and that's what these companies want.

    So I don't disfavor these policies much as a general rule. Think of this as a career protection mechanism for these folks. They say something stupid enough and they'll hurt the company and they're essentially unemployable anywhere because they're so often facing the public.

  • Nov 2nd, 2017 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    Interestingly, most publishers have gone to less oppressive DRM schemes and have learned to accept some "losses" from piracy over the years. Back in the day, I spent more on a Lattice C compiler than I did my car, but publishers learned that by cutting the price they actually made more money so things changed.

    Game makers haven't changed, however. Yes, their target demographic generally tends to have less money to spend so they're more likely to pirate to play. Still, the fact that their content plays much more poorly with DRM installed drives ever more of their customers to pirate solutions. I know that I would be tempted to go that route if I were a young gamer these days just because the DRM sucks and causes more problems than it's worth. Being an old fart, however, I don't need to play the latest games this very second to have cred with other gamers. I can wait until both the price comes down and the DRM goes away, so I do.

  • Nov 2nd, 2017 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Shocking

    The idea that dead folks vote is particularly associated with races in Chicago (not without reason, I might add), and that vote is controlled/delivered by Democratic bosses. It predates the JFK election and has been a constant political meme for longer than I've been alive.

    So yes, you are a humorless scold and your reaction shows the dire need for irony and sarcasm tags in html. This meme was the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline.

  • Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 9:29am

    Mixed feelings

    DRM is bad for consumers and the consumer/vendor relationship, so losing it wouldn't hurt my feelings in the least.

    What I'm worried about, however, is that it's much more likely that the industry will transition to on-line only games as a "fix."

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