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81  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What skills will be obsolete in 50 years? on: February 26, 2015, 02:46:40 AM
A smaller industry of humans will still find work in high-level (OS-type) programming. It's easy to foresee learning AIs writing their own code for routine applications, similar to the way our brains program themselves by forming memories and associations. This will be evident in the next 5-10 years, never mind 50 years. By then we will be watched over by machines of loving grace. Or Skynet. Pretty sure it will be one or the other.
82  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What skills will be obsolete in 50 years? on: February 25, 2015, 11:48:15 PM
Humans will still have value for creative skills and imagination. I don't foresee AI developing those anytime soon. They will displace us at analytical and logical thinking.
83  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Retail cashier preference: robot or buddy? on: February 25, 2015, 11:43:18 PM
Depends on how cute and female she is.
84  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Agency in your Dreams? on: February 25, 2015, 02:55:46 AM
I have particular recurring dreams/nightmares. Sometimes I'll realize "ok, this is the tornado dream (or the runaway car dream, or the flying dream, or...), got it" and then I can take some control over its direction or at least enjoy it as entertainment. Other times my subconscious fights back and convinces me that "no, you're not dreaming -- it's real this time," whereupon it becomes even scarier than usual. It's like my subconscious resents my consciousness horning in on its territory. I wonder if that means that dreams can't accomplish whatever mental mojo they do if the conscious mind gets involved. Or maybe I'm just schizophrenic.
85  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What skills will be obsolete in 50 years? on: February 24, 2015, 11:32:44 PM
Working a necessity for survival. Wage slavery will no longer be tenable when robots are doing virtually all manual labor and AIs can do much of what we consider skilled labor. I don't know what will replace it, but the way economies are organized will have to change radically as workforce participation keeps dropping in fits and starts. People will work at creative endeavors if they choose to, for self-fulfillment and to enrich themselves beyond a basic income.

I doubt that nation-states will be the dominant political entities. They'll still exist as convenient geographical designations, and they'll continue to be the source of military power, but culture will be increasingly global and nations will be subordinate to transnational corporations and political entities -- not a centralized "world government" though.

Both of these shifts are already under way and I only see them intensifying over the next 50 years.

 
86  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's been a while -- (Re)Introducing the Gaming Trend Team! on: February 21, 2015, 12:15:12 AM
I'm Ken. I come here to complain.
87  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: February 18, 2015, 04:02:59 AM
I'll go along with that. Creepy clean-cut guy is obviously going to be a problem. Clean-cut guys always are. I hope he doesn't derail the journey-to-DC arc because I like TWD best when they're on the road.
88  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Man From UNCLE from Guy Ritchie on: February 12, 2015, 06:54:12 AM
I was a little too young to care about the original series and I'm bored by spycraft and fisticuffs and car chases and explosions and all of that silliness. Cold War nostalgia might merit a new look, though. I miss the USSR.
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Jupiter Ascending on: February 10, 2015, 12:41:04 AM
I doubt that this one will even make my netflix queue. What I've read about it sounds dreadful.
90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TurboTax or an Accountant? on: February 05, 2015, 02:37:06 AM
Pretty much the same story as dfs. If you have a lot of 1099 income you need to know which deductions can preferentially whittle that away and reduce your self-employment tax. The home office rules alone are tricky and getting that wrong is an audit flag. Our finished return runs 30-40 pages with all the schedules and worksheets. I need a CPA to do my business returns anyway, so we hire the same guy to do our personal returns.

If you only have w-2 income you probably don't need an accountant.

Last year my wife only had two 1099s so there's not a lot of self-employment income to write down. If the same is true this year I'm going to go back to doing it myself. We're nearing the point where the standard deduction is almost the same as itemizing.
91  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin's Back on: January 25, 2015, 02:42:20 AM
I dunno, she imparts gravitas to even their third-string wannabes by lowering the baseline.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 12 Monkeys remake for TV on: January 18, 2015, 05:36:54 AM
I decided not to record it after reading a withering review. I liked the movie...let's just leave it at that.
93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: January 11, 2015, 07:50:50 PM
In light of all that new information I'm inclined to agree with you. Short of deprogramming there isn't ever going to be a connection between you again...the barriers are firm and institutionalized. I don't think involuntary deprogramming is a thing for adults, or that it would work out well if it were.

I wonder if the courts consider JW to be a cult. If so that's a big thing in your favor when it comes to custody. 
94  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 09, 2015, 03:18:40 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on January 08, 2015, 04:52:01 PM

I believe this is one of the rare instances in which the technology needs to be forced on consumers.

So if I'm forced to adopt the solution, the problem will follow? Got it.

As soon as the things get the internet they'll want social networks. Where do I invest in Thingbook?
95  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 08, 2015, 03:00:16 AM
Maybe the "Internet of Things" really is the Next Big Thing, but it strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. I'd worry about my toaster and my refrigerator conspiring against me. Maybe I'd let my guard down if they went back to calling it the "smart house."
96  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So I quit my job to play music... on: January 07, 2015, 06:47:09 AM
I like their/your sound a lot. I hate music players without volume controls a lot, too.
97  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: January 06, 2015, 02:11:39 AM
I loved the first season, tolerated the second, and dropped out after the third. My wife's still heavily into it though. From her synopsis it sounds like the 5th season has degenerated into self-parody.
98  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My favorite cat in the world is dead on: January 01, 2015, 11:57:33 PM

Quote from: Drazzil on January 01, 2015, 08:36:08 AM

Still have four, but none could compare to Princess.

Edit for: Go to the shelter and adopt an older cat.

Cats, like cars seem to depreciate quite quickly once they are no longer brand new, you would be doing an adult cat a favor, or you could see if you could make provisions for the cat if something should happen to you guys.

That option has been floated. We're both reluctant to miss out on the fun of kittenhood and the early bonding, but making a shorter commitment has some advantages.
99  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: January 01, 2015, 11:53:59 PM
Geez, man, that's a hard question. In the 35 years I've been with my wife, I've fallen out of and back into love a couple of times. 31 years ago I got up in front of all of my friends and family and solemnly vowed to stick with her for life, no matter what. I still take that seriously so I have a high threshold for divorce -- basically, "I changed my mind" doesn't cut it. Absent abuse or infidelity we are yoked for life. In my experience, if you wait out the bad times, better times eventually return. But she and I have always been friends and still are.

You say that you never loved your wife to begin with, so that's a different situation. And we never had children, so that's another different situation. I don't know what advice to give you except that staying together for the sake of the children usually doesn't make anybody happy. Shared custody seems to work out pretty well for most people...but I don't have any personal experience with that.

Do you like your wife at all? Might you be able to love her with some effort? Does she like/love you? "Get counseling" is an obvious answer if the underlying emotional connection is there.
100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My favorite cat in the world is dead on: January 01, 2015, 03:14:11 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 31, 2014, 03:41:17 PM

Every pet owner's different though. Some friends who lost a pet were so devastated, they just didn't want to own one again. Others wanted to run out and adopt another pet the next week.

My wife and I are already grappling with this. Our cat's still in good health but he's 16.5 years old, so we're steeling ourselves.

I just do the math. If Iggy dies tomorrow and we get another cat the next day, we will be 74 years old if it also lives 16 years. If he lives a little longer and we wait the usual mourning period, we might be dealing with another elderly cat when we're 76 or older. I don't think I want that burden if I'm so unfortunate as to live that long, and I don't want the restrictions on our tentative retirement plans in the interim. Basically, I feel like 58 is too old to commit to another cat.

My wife, OTOH, doesn't like the thought of potentially living another 20 years without a cat.

We are sympathetic to each other's viewpoints and I won't know how this turns out until after Iggy dies. I suspect that either a cat will choose us, or one won't. Or maybe we'll just get a fucking gerbil.  icon_biggrin
101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Year's Eve: How as your 2014? on: January 01, 2015, 03:00:59 AM
My wife's new job with MIT put us back in the middle class after 5 years in the wilderness. In fact, it's the first time since 2002 that our combined income went up instead of down. Even better, she loves everything about the job so far. That alone made it a banner year.

Nobody died or got seriously ill, so there weren't any real cons. The worst I can say is that my business dropped by a couple of percent after being ahead by double digits through September. Q4 was a financial disaster...but I only contribute a fraction to our joint income, so aside from making my beer money a little tight it mostly matters to my ego.

I blame everybody at GT who didn't click the link in my sig and buy something. Yes, you.
102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2014 Christmas Loot on: December 27, 2014, 12:13:12 AM
A pair of silicone oven mitts and two T shirts. This is my favorite:



The other says "In my day, there were NINE planets"

103  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What Color Suits these Arctic Countries: USA, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia? on: December 22, 2014, 04:07:59 AM
I'm fine with gold for Norway. OK, that was easy. Next!  icon_biggrin
104  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What Color Suits these Arctic Countries: USA, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia? on: December 21, 2014, 11:37:01 PM
Blue is traditional for the US, going back to the Union Army. Red has been traditional for Russia since the USSR. Green seems obvious for Greenland. Canada is the Great White North. So that leaves...what, Norway? I don't have any associations for them. The first four are intuitive to me, though.
105  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama on the Colbert Report on: December 17, 2014, 08:34:22 PM
(To set the record straight before this snowballs...I was funning y'all. I'm still a couple of years short of 60; I don't usually eat dinner til 8; and I don't go to bed til 1:30 or 2 am. I don't watch much TV, though, so I only ever see Colbert and Daily Show clips online.) icon_smile
106  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama on the Colbert Report on: December 17, 2014, 07:02:54 PM

Quote from: Scraper on December 17, 2014, 02:04:36 PM


I'm actually surprised that 22% of Colbert's audience is 60+ I would have thought that number would be much lower.

We can't change the channel when we're asleep.
107  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama on the Colbert Report on: December 17, 2014, 12:29:26 AM
Yeah, AFAIK Nixon was the first.

Two big differences: First, Nixon went on Laugh-In to reach a hostile demographic (young people), whereas Obama went on Colbert to reach a friendly but tuned-out demo (more young people). Nixon risked alienating his natural supporters (Laugh-In was not a show for aged conservatives) whereas Obama did not. Second, Obama had a specific goal (health insurance enrollment) whereas Nixon...well, I don't know what he was thinking. Trying to appear hip, I suppose. He ended up looking ridiculous instead.

Actually, I just learned that Nixon's appearance was two months before he was elected President, so maybe Clinton really was the first. Never mind.  icon_smile
108  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama on the Colbert Report on: December 15, 2014, 11:30:17 PM

Quote from: RuperT on December 15, 2014, 09:15:07 AM


Correct me if I'm wrong Kraken  Tongue, but Nixon was not Mr Hollywood (which is to say, hip), and could conceivably affect his image with a cameo.  Obama has little to gain; detractors actually complain he's too cool. Did Nixon do much more of that stuff?


True, but he also risked his gravitas with his supporters by being the first president to ever appear on an irreverent, youth-culture TV show. A lot of people were scandalized. Did it help his image with the young? I doubt it. We kinda resented the vietnam war.

Quote from: Lee on December 15, 2014, 06:38:44 PM

@Ironrod: Between Two Ferns is supposed to be painfully awkward. They are all like that, no matter who the guest.

Oh. Well, mission accomplished then. Humor is a funny thing. Or it isn't.
109  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama on the Colbert Report on: December 14, 2014, 08:11:03 PM
Finally saw the Colbert segment last night -- previous links were all broken due to copyright. Thought it was pretty funny...unlike his Two Ferns appearance, which was just painful.

Presidents have been doing pop culture at least since Nixon said "Sock it to me" on Laugh-In. Generally doesn't bother me, although I do cringe when it's obvious that the President is out of his depth as an entertainer.
110  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Inside Out - Pixar's next movie on: December 10, 2014, 11:25:44 PM
That looks clever.
111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TV Viewing and Spending Thresholds Discussion on: December 07, 2014, 02:49:32 AM

Quote from: WorkingMike on December 06, 2014, 03:44:24 AM

If someone came along and gave me the ability to buy the shows i actually watch for half the price, I would sign up in a second. Give me the ability to change those channels every quarter or so.

That would indeed be the magic bullet. Someday someone will figure out how to implement it. I don't know how many channels we get -- well over 100 -- yet between us my wife and I probably never watch more than 10 of them.

My cable company tries to accommodate by offering tiers ranging from basic cable to superdeluxe digital HD plus plus plus, but that just ends up being overcomplicated and confusing. Don't make me choose between your packages; let me design my own package. I realize that licensing agreements and pricing are what make it impossible. One of these days the consumers will get the upper hand over the providers. That day draws nearer with every person who dumps cable and cobbles together the sources that they want. Too much trouble for me -- I want one bill, one program guide, one controller -- but I salute those of you who have the patience and fortitude to go your own way.

(edit) Better yet, let us subscribe to shows instead of channels. That's how people watch TV. I don't care or even know what network most of my stories are on. Man, that would totally shake up the entertainment industry.
112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TV Viewing and Spending Thresholds Discussion on: December 05, 2014, 03:33:29 AM
As a cable subscriber, I wish there was a reduced-price no-sports package. I know the sports channel licenses are the cable companies' biggest expenses, and I resent having to pay for them. I also wish I could set the cable guide to hide all the sports channels so that I don't have to constantly surf past them.

I might drop cable when we replace our TV with one that can handle streaming (our current set only has one HDMI port and it's busy, so I can't easily plug in one of those streaming jobbies). Although since we have cable internet, and neither of us wants the complexity of having to assemble our viewing from half a dozen different sources, we'll more likely stick with cable out of laziness and inertia as long as the price doesn't go crazy. I hope cable prices will drop or hold the line as more and more people migrate away from it.

Our cable/internet company is a nonprofit municipal utility so I don't feel the hatred that Comcast and Verizon customers do.
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: November 27, 2014, 05:31:00 PM
Down for me, too, and with the holiday it's probably going to stay down.
114  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Liberal Fascism in Houston on: November 27, 2014, 03:00:33 AM

Quote from: Harpua3 on November 26, 2014, 11:31:20 PM

Quote from: hepcat on October 16, 2014, 07:25:54 PM

I love how ATB tries to mask his personal prejudices as sincere curiosity.  It's like a racist asking someone why Asians are such horrible drivers.

Who doesn't know that!?!

They sure do keep their property up nice, though.
115  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Jurassic World on: November 26, 2014, 10:41:41 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on November 26, 2014, 04:07:16 PM

As for creating a new dinosaur, why not?
I'm more concerned about "why?" There are thousands of known dino species, most of them obscure (as velociraptors were until the first JP movie). Introducing some silly dino-human mutant is the only storytelling reason I can imagine for making up a new one. If they do that then this series has officially jumped the megalodon.
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is your phone's current up time? on: November 26, 2014, 12:42:11 AM
0:33  icon_lol

For some reason I occasionally enter a state where I can connect to the google and look stuff up, but not go to any websites. Then some of my apps start bitching about losing their connection. Happens every few weeks. Rebooting makes it better.
117  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sarah Palin demands...DEMANDS...impeachment. Can still see Russia from porch. on: November 22, 2014, 06:23:37 PM
The hits just keep on coming. Don't ever change, Sarah.

Quote
Sarah Palin said today that illegal immigrants from Mexico should be put on boats and sent back across the ocean to their home country.

In an interview with Fox News tonight, the former Alaskan governor was asked about President Obama’s new plan to partially legalize some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in America. Palin dismissed the president's idea as “amnesty” and offered an  unconventional solution of her own.

“If I were Obama I’d put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico,” she opined. “The liberal media says it’s impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships.

“Let’s commandeer all the cruise ships, all the fishing vessels and all the yachts those fat cat Obama donors own. And then let’s pack ‘em full of illegals and send these people on a one-way cruise to Mexico City.

“The long voyage back across the Mexican Ocean should give them plenty of time to think about how they shouldn’t be coming here to America and jeopardizing our freedom and prosperity by breaking our laws.”

(OK, it was satire. Had me going though, and I'll bet it got you, too.)
118  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: November 18, 2014, 03:09:08 AM

Quote from: Lee on November 17, 2014, 10:38:24 PM

I enjoyed it, until the van landed on it's wheels. It was clearly going to land front end first in the real world. icon_twisted

That wasn't even filmed well. Shot of van leaving bridge, nose-down. Cut! Van lands on wheels. Bothered me more than most discontinuities do, and I'm usually pretty forgiving.

Otherwise it was an OK episode. I agree about the flashbacks-within-the-flashback, though. The smoke metaphors were heavy handed and didn't add anything. Weren't Darryl's cigarettes (Morleys) the same brand they smoked in the X-Files? I know I"ve seen that prop before. Aha, it goes deeper than I thought:

Quote
The X-Files: The Cigarette Smoking Man, played by William B. Davis, smokes this fictional brand, as does Agent Monica Reyes. The X-Files is probably the most well known use of Morley cigarettes. In "Brand X," Mulder and Scully visit Morley Tobacco's headquarters after one of the employees is murdered.
119  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Have you ever written anything substantial? on: November 15, 2014, 03:27:03 AM
I forgot all about technical writing. I wrote the manual for Caesar III (about 150 pages IIRC), all of the walker dialog, and most of the in-game text. Ditto for Children of the Nile and pretty good chunks of Pharaoh and Civil War Generals 2. Also wrote the text strings for one of the characters in Lords of the Realm II, although I forget which character it was (the Baron maybe?). A lot of that was just grind-it-out stuff but there was some creative component in imbuing feedback with character and humor. I was credited as Writer on C3 and CotN.
120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Have you ever written anything substantial? on: November 13, 2014, 01:49:57 AM
I kept a journal from age 18 to about age 35, writing a couple of pages a few times a week. Old school longhand in notebooks, baby. I used to have great penmanship. Stopped doing that when I went on antidepressants and lost the compulsion to write.

Got 3/4 of the way through a sf novel when I was a teenager. It was a long-distance collaboration with another, older writer whom I met through fan publications -- we mailed manuscripts back and forth; mine were typed, his were handwritten. Lost my motivation after he committed suicide. It was a post-apocalyptic Ultimate Computer kind of story. It wasn't very good, except that we did predict the Internet (which we called Monolith) back in 1976. Computers in every home connected by telephone lines was his crazy idea.

I blog about my business every Friday. Nobody reads it. The link is in my sig if you want to see why. Been doing that for the better part of 10 years and I have something like 400 entries. I guess it's what remains of my compulsion.

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