You see, they never actually addressed the ethics of the matter. Indeed no picking up of girls takes place in the dungeon (unless one counts physically picking up injured girls to get them to safety).
I'm going to have to go back and watch the whole thing again.
To my considerable astonishment though, the answer to the more relevant question "Was the show any good?" is "Yes. Definitely!"
As expected from the ending of the last episode, the finale is one huge fight.This could have been tedious, but the episode is crammed with an extraordinary amount of world building, character development and genuine surprises.
This was a remarkably satisfying ending to a show that has been way more enjoyable than it had any right to be.
Towards the end of the episode the god Hermes, who has been sort of hanging around for the last two episodes, acting suspiciously, climbs a tree and gives a rather exuberant soliloquy which leads me to believe two things...
1: A sequel may be in the works.
2: This is not actually a harem show, or at least only secondarily so.
It's a bit muddled in the anime, but Lili is definitely a halfling by birth, and a doggirl (Franco-Greekish 'chienthrope') by magic.
As far as haremettes go, the author seems to be going for the form but not the substance. More girls keep showing up, and for various reasons they're interested in Bell, but most of the competition is in Hestia's imagination.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Jun 29 18:13:53 2015 (ZlYZd)
Nod to form to get published..write about awesome D&D campaign instead.
I take it you've read the LNs?
Translations of the first two are out on Amazon US; I bought the Kindle editions. The story quickly zoomed past them, though, so I've only read up through Lili's arc. The rest is from scattered paragraphs on the wiki.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Jun 29 19:56:28 2015 (ZlYZd)
Re: Russians - Yeah, I saw that after I posted, and then I forgot to reply until now...
I gather there's another Internet conspiracy theory circulating about another ISS provider, though it's probably also ill-founded and ridiculous, and then there's always Generic Evil Group That Hates Space. But probably it's just stupid bad luck and a lot of newish equipment.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Sat Jul 4 19:39:29 2015 (ZJVQ5)
We're going to fly a probe by Youggoth in 2 weeks. The Fungi are nervous and are screwing with us.
In stark contrast to the white knuckles action of the climax, this epilogue is a mostly quiet affair which takes place a few years later in England. Flashbacks that serve to wrap up loose ends are woven into the story which involves Rin and Shirou taking a day off, contemplating what they've been through and how what they learned during their ordeal will impact their decisions for their future.
Aside from from one momentary digression it's pretty much sublime.
I think they added the three minutes concerning the blonde with a crush on Shirou just to give the fanfic writers something to do.
I'm kind of surprised that they did this. The episode was in some ways completely unnecessary, but it provided a very nice (if slightly bittersweet) denouement for what has been a superb (if occasionally quite dark) show.
I'll admit to feeling a sense of disappointment for this episode. It
was perfectly competent, but I got no real sense of emotional attachment
between Rin and Shiro. There were eps during the season that had more.
Damn shame, that.
I don't know if you watched Fate/Zero,
but if not, the guy Shiro talked to in the halls of the school towards
the end of the episode was Waver Velvet, master of Iskander (Rider) in
the previous Holy Grail War...
Posted by: Wonderduck at Mon Jun 29 19:53:17 2015 (jGQR+)
Neither of them are particularly expressive, Shirou is fairly introverted and Toshaka os the high priestess of the church of Tsundere. The episode showed them both quite at ease with one another and Rin's last line indicated that not only are they close, but they've got quite a future...and its not impossible that it will be a happy one.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Jun 24 22:25:53 2015 (TJ7ih)
Man, don't ever yell that at a musician playing in public. They might... actually do it. True story, I swear.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Thu Jun 25 09:53:11 2015 (jwKxK)
The story I heard was that at a Concert in Philly, a fellow happened to yell this at Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. So they started playing it the Mother's style with all the goofy noises and such they could.
Said heckler then demanded they do it right.
And they DID. Because those men were Musicians with a capital M.
Posted by: Mauser at Fri Jun 26 05:01:16 2015 (7MhH9)
I don't play violin... but did the animator really put in the correct fingering and bowing? Because if so, the animator has my respect.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Fri Jun 26 08:49:51 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Getting the fingering right doesn't matter if the player is bowing on the wrong side of the bridge, or not making contact at all between the bow and the strings.
She's playing air fiddle.
Posted by: thornharp at Mon Jun 29 11:28:45 2015 (LdI08)
How Many Nuclear Bombs WOULD it Take
...to effectively knock most of the world back into the 7th century?
Well, to physically devastate the planet through blast and heat would take thousands upon thousands of bombs, probably more than existed at the height of the cold war.
However, all we have to do is bring down the thing that (philosophical advances notwithstanding) makes the modern world modern...our technology.
One could go a long way to doing that with an Electro Magnetic Pulse. There are a few ways to get these, but we're talking about nukes, so one can obtain the effect by detonating a nuclear weapon at high altitude. The sweet spot seems to be an area with a lower limit between 18 and 31 miles up (depending on latitude and other factors) and an upper limit around 300 miles into space. The effects are caused by interaction with the earth's atmosphere and magnetic field and extends to the visible horizon. The effects radii for various altitudes can be seen here...
The actual effects are fairly consistent throughout the area with a horseshoe shaped area containing a zone of very high effects and a small area just north (or south in the southern hemisphere) of ground zero with minimal effects.
Most of the area has between 50 and 80% of the maximum intensity of effects. The effects can be...impressive.
The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) fused all of the 570-kilometer monitored overhead telephone line with measured currents of 1500 to 3400 amperes during the 22 October 1962 test. The monitored telephone line was divided into sub-lines of 40 to 80 kilometres (25 to 50 mi) in length, separated by repeaters. Each sub-line was protected by fuses and by gas-filled overvoltage protectors. The EMP from the 22 October (K-3) nuclear test caused all of the fuses to blow and all of the overvoltage protectors to fire in all of the sub-lines of the 570 km (350 mi) telephone line.The EMP from the same test caused the destruction of the Karaganda power plant, and shut down 1,000 km (620 mi) of shallow-buried power cables between Astana (then called Aqmola) and Almaty.
Even assuming these were maximum effects and most areas would receive 30-80% of this effect this messes everything up.
Back to the question at hand. How many bombs would it take for a not entirely rational government to apply those effects to the entire world?
Well, using the 1470 mile radius of the affected area we get an area of 6,788,670 square miles. The earth has a total surface area of 196,939,900 square miles (rounded after conversion from km) and 196,939,900 / 6,788,670 = 29.010 so one would need less than 29 of these to send the whole Earth back into the dark ages (less because the nefarious individuals doing his would not need to hit most of the 70% of the surface area that's oceans, Antarctica, or themselves.
Now a small crazy country that wants to do this and had the capability to make 25 bombs a year and a transportable ballistic missile, and a modest merchant marine might discreetly disperse these missiles to where they could be simultaneously launched for global coverage... like so...
Iranian Shabab 4? missiles and their TELs on small container shiip.
Now to what end would they do this?
Well a conquering, convert or die army is kind of like a zombie apocalypse, with fast, tool-using, gun shooting zombies (except they don't often bite) and we've seen some of what can happen when a group like that moves into an area that's demoralized and destabilized...
Of course if this outfit ever encounters a proper modern military, they'll get curb-stomped.
Note though that if you have the same goal and can demoralize and destabilize the entire world, by say, knocking a good chunk of it back to the 7th century, even if only for a few years...well., these people have a sense of history...
Imagine this transpiring while the whole world is knocked on their behinds by a power failure, starving and desperate, and assume to that kept aside a few nukes for military bases and tactical usage.
That would probably be quite a powerful motive for those who consider modernity itself to be an abomination.
Is this likely? Would it work?....probably not.
But, if you're crazy enough to roll the dice with nukes you're crazy enough to try really crazy crap especially since the EMP doesn't require particularly challenging targeting capability and could conceivably do far more damage than the same nuke could via blast and heat.
Anyway, I was surprised that you could do it with 20-30 midsize nukes.
UPDATE: Corrected some typos, fixed a hyperling and. umm, removed the picture of Mum-Ra.
Fiber optic cables are immune to EMP, so there's that, at least.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tue Jun 23 23:09:29 2015 (PiXy!)
I can imagine the telephone lines can't handle that kind of induced current, but I'm not so sure about power lines.
But I think part of the voltage induction is related to them being long segments of conductor. being able to induct damaging current in handheld electronics might not be so easy, there's not enough distance to induce much of an electrical gradient.
The big problem with trying to knock ISIS back to the stone age is that's their goal.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Jun 24 05:36:19 2015 (TJ7ih)
I do wonder about that.
I keep hearing about how vulnerable integrated circuits are in comparison to vacuum tubes/valves but is that really so? Don't we at least have better surge protection than we used to? (though that would only be of limited effect against what the Russians described at Kasputin Yar). Is a modern semi-conductor really more likely to suffer an induction induced overload than the Cathode & anode in a tube?
(Obviously integrated circuits are a good thing, my i-Mac would be se size of the U.S. national mall or larger and have frequent bit errors if it was tube based)
Mauser is right, it's about the length of the wires. An EMP that would induce tens of kilovolts in a long run of telephone or power lines would be barely measurable on a circuit board and not even that within an integrated circuit. Integrated circuits are vulnerable to direct radiation, but then, so are people. Anything that kills your iMac will be bad news for you too...
The vulnerable things are the electricity grid and local telephone / internet services. The big worry is the grid; if a lot of large transformers are damaged, it could take years to replace them all.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Jun 24 12:37:51 2015 (PiXy!)
The problem is, you don't need to have much of electric gradient to fry electronics. I met a guy once in a local pilot's club, who described an early EMP weapon they built while working in the Sandia lab. They too two aluminized balloons and tied them to two quartz plates, then smeared the plates with C4 and built a sandwich. They hoisted that contraption at the base and blew it up. When they did it, they fried a bunch of rados in town and knocked a local AM station off the air.
A nuke is going to induce a ton of low-gigahertz and wreck a bunch of Ethernet switches and computers, despite most being in metal cases. Cellphones, too.
That's very peculiar, Pete. So a Nuke isn't necessary for causing EMP? Something THAT low-tech is easily within the reach of ISIS.
And now Fred the Fed is reading....
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Jun 24 19:34:47 2015 (TJ7ih)
Well you have to have some kind of physical that converts some other energy (such as temperature, or mechanical energy of the shockwave) into the EM radiation. I do not quite understand how nuclear explosion produces its EMP. If it were just the tail of the glow as it cools down, its power would not be that great, I imagine. But its available power is absolutely immense and perhaps there are massive currents in its plasma ball. In contrast, using quartz plates is a more efficient way to generate the electric tension from the shockwave, and balloons were chosen to be effective antennas, so a pound of C4 makes, say, 1/100th EMP of a 100kt nuke while using 1/1,000,000th of energy. It wasn't an imaginative way to generate EMP either. I heard of more intricate designs that, for instance, blow up coils and such. A number was intended to fry satellites for the Soviet anti-SDE program.
Another funny story I heard from that lab is they once were tasked to build a weapon to combat tunnels. So they went and bought a bunch of toy tanks. They used the tank chassis and put some C4, about 1/4 of a pound on it, a detonator, and an electric circuit. The tank would crawl forward, until it hit an obstacle. Then, the curcut made it turn 45 degrees and try to crawl again. If it could not proceed after a 360 degree turn, it blew up. It also blew up after crawling about 100 ft. The idea was to cave tunnels in at a distance from the well that they drilled to lower the tank. You could also lower two or three if you were lucky and the first blew up far enough away.
I thought it could be easier to pump some propane into the tunnel, then ignite it. Unfortunately, the Rodenator didn't exist in the 1970s and the thought didn't occur to those boffins.
Generating a small-scale EMP is easy enough. Anything that generates an electromagnetic field in normal operation can do the trick if you pump a whole lot of energy into it all at once.
Coils are good for this, as Pete mentioned. Wrap a coil around an explosive core, run a current through the coil, and blow it up. Voila, EMP. But the total energy is much much less than a nuclear blast, so the effects fall off sharply with distance (inverse square law).
On a really small scale, you can just set up a working coil, put it on the floor, and stamp it flat. Something that simple will still generate a measurable EMP.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Jun 24 22:59:31 2015 (PiXy!)
Google Chrome Downloads An Audio Listener Secretly On Your Device That Can Listen In Your Room
We have tech-savvy people who frequent this place who we assume are not under the thumb of the techweasels. So, is this story complete bollocks, or should we start making bulk purchases of certain civics-related items?
Voice search is an option in Chrome. It's turned off by default. I don't have a microphone on my desktop PC, so shrug.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Jun 22 20:38:05 2015 (PiXy!)
The code is in Chrome, but you theoretically have to enable it to get the "ok google" behavior; the on-by-default behavior is apparently limited to Chromium, a third-party build. Either way, you have to take their word for it, if you have a computer with builtin audio/video.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Jun 22 21:45:03 2015 (fpXGN)
And considering most laptops DO have built-in mics and cameras....
(BTW, I once saw a video from a guy who set up his laptop to monitor his hotel room when he was out. The machine showed as locked down, but was recording. Wonder what software he was using for that?)
Posted by: Mauser at Tue Jun 23 07:23:37 2015 (TJ7ih)
Meanwhile, people are buying the always-listening Amazon Echo with real money.
Also, anectode from Russian life (via bash). A boy rides in a tram and tries to talk to his phone with "Okay, Google, where am I?", more and more insistently, but the din of tram's wheels on the rails interferes. Finally, on a stop, he uses the moment of silence to yell "Okay, Google, what am I?!". A babushka replies "You are in a tram, and you left your Guglya at the previous stop, stupid pothead!"
Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4bn of investorsâ€™ money across a handful of bond funds for Fidelity, including the flagship Moneybuilder Income fund, is concerned that a "systemic eventâ€ could rock markets, possibly similar in magnitude to the financial crisis of 2008, which began in Britain with a run on Northern Rock...
...The best strategy to deal with this, he said, was for investors to spread their money widely into different assets, including gold and silver, as well as cash in savings accounts. But he went further, suggesting it was wise to hold some "physical cashâ€, an unusual suggestion from a mainstream fund manager.
Before you laugh at your ancestors, TOF invites you to prove that the earth is, contrary to your senses, in wild and careening double motion: spinning like a top and whipping around the sun without (somehow) leaving the Moon and Air behind, and without everyone stumbling around like dunkards. You are not allowed to appeal to authority or to the success of NASA, or suchlike things. You've got eyeballs and armillaries, and that's pretty much it. Go. TOF will wait here
In the latest episode of IIW2T2PUGIAD there was a brief bath scene but they didn't sell any blue rays with it. The episode was mostly character exposition and shopping. Also: stupid criminals and a fight...then something else happened but I have no idea what....it looks exciting though.
This is not high art by any means but it remains an interesting show in spite of itself. The heroines are all particularly well deve ...well realized and the portrayal of the gods is, despite all the anachronisms, actually faithful in tone to the classical myths.
I've enjoyed it so far, though it remains to be seen how they wrap it up.
My immediate response was, "well, now we know why
they don't let gods into the dungeon". It's also obvious that Welf's special delivery is going to feature prominently in whatever happens next episode; they made too big a fuss about it, and of course it's in the opening credits.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Jun 21 01:42:12 2015 (ZlYZd)
J, for me and those others who haven't watched the show, care to let us in on the secret? Why don't they?
mere moments after Hestia unseals her divine power (to rescue Bell from a fight he's already won, but she didn't know that at the time), the ground starts shaking and a Really Big Monster apparently smashes its way into what was supposed to be a sanctuary level in the dungeon. So it looks like there's going to be a boss fight.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Jun 21 15:23:23 2015 (ZlYZd)
Well...what he said but I'm not sure that all the things were connected in that way (though it seems likely).
The show has a side plot regarding gods who are trying to wipe out Bell's little party and capture, kill, molest or possibly eat Bell. There was some indication as well that when Hestia went into the dungeon this was seen as an excellent opportunity to take her out too. Thus, this may not be an automatic response, it may be a trap/ambush. Which is why I said I had no idea what happened.
I started this show WAY late so a regular episodic review is pointless.I'll give a somewhat more in depth review of the series after it ends next week.
I am curious what those who are watching it think.
The writing, the production values and the characterizations of this show remained above par for all of the 25 episodes, and the pacing was exemplary for 23 and a half . Even that brief pacing glitch worked in retrospect as it was conveying a somewhat surreal plot point.
In the game this was based on, a story similar to this was one of several alternate paths one could take...It turns out that this is not simply a re-imagining of the old show with the alternate plot, rather, in this series the original 2006 version of Fate Stay Night IS CANON...specifically, that show represents a different timeline that someone was unhappy with and has come back in time to alter to their liking.
Of course once one starts altering a timeline (even just a little), the differences begin to cascade out of control.
Rin was awesome but underutilized in the first series, but in this one she truly shines as one of the best SFF heroines in recent years, smart, gutsy and principled. Shiro, the male lead from the previous series, lacks much of the plot armor and 'designated hero' perks he enjoyed in that show, and is a much better character for it.
In a major break from the first series, it is not Shiro who saves the day...but Rin who saves the whole frickking world (the stakes are higher in this series due to the motivations of a particular villain)Shiro fights a delaying action while she does so.
Fate Stay Night added to its many good points, a particularly rare quality; a satisfying ending (which was doubly so for those who saw the first series).
UPDATE: Wait. What?
Watching the episode again, I'm reminded that It's important when doing these reviews to sit ALL the way through the credits.
They Caught the Evil Bastard
The malignant, wicked coward who went to a prayer meeting, and pretended to study scripture for an hour before murdering 9 of the people who took him in has been caught.
This was so vile that I was not sure I'd opine on it here because, really, what can possibly be said other than a stream of expletives directed at the vile fiend.
Well, Ace has some thoughts...
When a vicious, cowardly outrage like this happens, a thinking man or woman has two options: To condemn the theatrical horror of the murder as any ethical person must, such as to to do one's utmost to dissuade any similarly-minded monsters from acting in bloody sympathy, or to make excuses for it, to talk about "root causes" and "legitimate grievances" and even the Crusades, to explain it as somehow, if not quite justified, as understandable.
But even if the systems had been encrypted, it likely wouldn't have mattered. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Dr. Andy Ozment testified that encryption would "not have helped in this case" because the attackers had gained valid user credentials to the systems that they attacked...
So...the Chinese (and probably the Russians) most likely have a dozen or more Alger Hisses and Julius Rosenbergs working for them now. They may have a chunk of our codes too.
And now, China in the South China Sea and Russia in Eastern Europe, they are making their moves. This is why they are pushing now, because they have the secrets, they have the spies, they know our every vulnerability and this is as good a shot as they will ever have. These developments are not bluffs, they are deadly serious. In no small part because our enemies have, in their eyes, a reasonable expectation now of total victory.
Some questions for our readers in the IT field.
If they had Root access, am I correct in assuming they could have so re-arranged things that the issue with the actual infiltration might still be ongoing?
Obviously the personnel are compromised, that can't be undone, but is it even realistic that this could be fixed? Is real security in a network with the very user friendly access we have come to expect in any way securable?
Only tangentially related, since this does not seem to be a "cloud" issue (hell, it's not really a 'hack' as such), but is "the cloud" in any way realistically securable?
Yes, once someone gets root access to your system, you have to burn it down and start again. Everything is suspect.
Network security is a question of layers. You have a firewall that only allows known traffic through. You have authentication that only allows know users through, once they're through the firewall. You have a second factor so that even if a hacker knows the password, they need something else (a hardware token) to actually log in. You have authorisation measures so that a given user only has access to the things they need to do their immediate job. You hash passwords and encrypt data and network traffic, so that if there's a mistake and someone gets hold of it, it's no good to them.
OPM apparently didn't do anything right. Everything they could possibly have screwed up, they did, many times over.
Contrast this with LastPass, which suffered a possible security breach this week. Their passwords are hashed 100,000 times, which means that even if a foreign government got hold of them, they are essentially useless.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Jun 18 01:10:36 2015 (2yngH)
As for the cloud, security is relative. I would trust Amazon, Google, or Microsoft to at least follow best practices. They each have large full-time staffs of highly competent people doing nothing all day but looking for new security problems and heading them off.
I'm using Amazon and Google cloud services at my day job, and while they're complicated, they are robust and as secure as it's practical to make them.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Jun 18 03:06:49 2015 (2yngH)
A cloud is simple, really. All it is, you pay someone to borrow his computer. It makes sense economically because you don't have to buy your own computer for every task. Plus, computers are easily shared - more easily than rental cars even. That helps to drive utilization up and costs down in a major way, and that is why everyone loves cloud. With that in mind the security of a cloud hinges on the trust you're putting into the guy who owns the computer you're borrowing (well, renting). If he did not install some bad software on that thing before litting you use it, you're reasonably secure. If he did, you're screwed.
So far, so good. Houston's gotten upwards of 4" of rain in some areas, but most around an inch, and it's been slow. Most of it went west of the city -- Wharton county is getting hit hard. However, new feeder bands on the east side are causing problems out towards Beaumont.
Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, has been wracked by intense jihadist activity for a month and is deteriorating further.
A reliable source says Taliban leaders are living quite freely in Karachi, but because they have nothing to do with the government they are left alone. To date, neither intelligence reports nor the media have been able to confirm the suspect presence. Yet the TTP has managed a number of attacks in the city, targeting polio workers, politicians, and top police officer Chaudhry Aslam.
(Note: Pakistan has an unknown number of nuclear weapons, the security of which is, no doubt, as leading source of insomnia amongst world security officials.)
More importantly, Saudi Arabia is investing in a civil nuclear industry. "Where would Saudi Arabia train the scientists to work on its secret program?â€ Zakaria wonders. Oh, I donâ€™t know, how about the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy? Somehow Zakaria never mentions that Saudi Arabia is building a dedicated city for training nuclear scientists. I canâ€™t predict whether this investment will pay off, but then again neither can Zakaria â€” if he even knows it exists.
Iran launched a satellite back in February, from a military base, that carried a 110 pound payload. While it did not stay in orbit as long as planned (indicating that they have quite a bit of work to do), they are making a fair amount of progress. A very rough rule of thumb is that a rockets payload to low orbit plus 50% what the rocket can put on the other side of the world so keep an eye on the estimates of their satellites mass.
The US is now in a similar position to what Germany and Japan were in WW2 in that Russia and China have everything...EVERYTHING. The solution is harder than simply changing the codebooks, because we can't get rid of ALL THE PERSONNEL.
For a professional perspective on this, John Schindler has thoughts on just how bad this is here, here and here. (It's REALLY bad). I urge you to read them all. There is a NPR interview with him here.
This is the biggest national security story in decades, and it is on the level of Pearl Harbor. Given that it has been going on for a year or more the friskieness of the Russians and Chinese over the last several months comes into perspective. The damage will take years to fix.
You missed the situation in and around the Dniestr statelet and the situation with the Russian "peacekeepers" stationed there. Kiev is no doubt trying to get its paws on the 14th Army depots in there, having drained their supplies in Novorossia.