Wednesday, June 25, 2014

time dilation and Civilization

Donald Crankshaw has a post about a computer game idea that sounds really good. I'd shell out $50 for it.

The game (or at least Donald's interpretation) is inspired in part by the game of Civilization --the first game that made me realize I had a serious gaming addiction. Interestingly, I've explored the idea of a story --also inspired by Civilization-- that is very similar to Donald's game idea.

Like the game idea, my story is about time dilation and technological progress. In my story, a cabal of rich villains kidnaps a few thousand young adults, mindwipe them, and drops them naked on an uncharted planet. The villains plan to return to the planet in 10 generations or so and set up as technologically advanced gods among a population of savages.

The hero is a historian who arranges to get left behind when the villains leave. Like all of the high-tech villains the hero has extended-life treatments so he expects to live until the villains return (although it's a dangerous world...). His task is to protect the people from the villains by guiding their social and technological development to give them the ability to defeat the villains when they return.

From my point of view, this story has two interesting subjects. First, there is the technological development --especially the very early developments such as language, fire and trade. Second, there are the god-like moral issues such as: if you encourage a peaceful civilization, then the people won't have any idea how to fight when the villains return. If you encourage a warlike civilization, then they will know how to fight, but in the meantime a lot of people will suffer.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Firefox substitute browser

So I'm posting this from the Waterfox web browser. No, that's not an obscure joke. I'm really using a web browser named Waterfox. It is based on Firefox but is compiled for 64-bit platforms so it should be faster.

I said I was moving to Chrome. I thought I was familiar with Chrome because I use it quite a bit. But what I hadn't taken into account is that I use it almost exclusively for Google sites like Google Drive. It turns out that for general sites I couldn't take all of the
non-stop motion that you get with any browser that won't let you selectively disable media and javascript like you can with Firefox extensions. So I found another browser based on Firefox that would let me use my Firefox extensions like Noscript and PasswordMaker.

I've been using Waterfox for all of about 20 minutes and already discovered a layout bug. Sigh. I hope that is not the way that things are going to go because other than that, it is working out nicely. It installed and immediately snarfed up all of my Mozilla settings, and it seems very responsive. Here's keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Christians not welcome at Mozilla

I've been a loyal user of Mozilla products since the beginning, but I've just switched to Chrome. They've just fired a Christian because of fears that they would be boycotted over his Christian beliefs about marriage. So, now they are being boycotted by me. It's not a very big boycott, but still...

If you are using any Mozilla products, I encourage you to switch. If you know anyone who uses a computer and isn't very computer literate and would like to join this boycott of 1, please offer to help set them up with Chrome or some other browser.

I've also sent a letter to Mozilla's press department, inquiring about the extent of their religious discrimination. Here it is:
Subject: purging the Christians

I have several questions I'd like to ask in light of Mozilla's firing of Brendam Eich for being a Christian.

First, I'd like to know if Mozilla is now going to purge all of the Christians from its ranks or are only high-level positions forbidden to people who follow that religion? If it is level based, how high a position is a Christian now allowed to hold at Mozilla?

Second, Muslims and religious Jews have similar views towards homosexual behavior that Christians do. Are Muslims and Jews also subject to this employment discrimination at Mozilla or only Christians?

Finally, I'm not an expert, but I know that there are both federal and California state laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of religion. Did the Mozilla personnel who made this decision consult with their legal department before firing someone based on their religious beliefs?

Thank you in advance for your answers.
I'll post a followup if I get a response.