SO, WoW has implemented a "fix" to deal with the "problem" of Gold Farmers. They now hold all auctions for an hour to verify that they aren't being done by a gold farmer. Except an hour is the goal. It looks like they are checking all of the auction payments by hand on all of the servers.

My current payment tickets all say that they will be here in 7 hours...

So, the American Catholic bishops have been helping cover up child molesters, they have transfered admitted molesters from one position working with kids to another in a different community. They have have lied and denied things that they knew about until confronted with proof that these things happened and that they knew about them. (Sort of like the blackhats that way.)

Well, the African Catholic Bishops have their own special issues. Yet again, we have an African Catholic Bishop spreading lies and disinformation about HIV and condoms. I'd understand the condom thing on the "any lie is good that is told in the service of God" theory, though a God who would want you to lie about that sort of thing is not worth serving. But the HIV medicine thing? Gah! The Catholic Church was making so much progress before these last few Popes.

heh heh heh

I just got my first Arena token from the Stranglethorn Valley arena. 30 seconds ahead of a scheduled server shutdown. Without having to fight for the chest. (I'm up for unrelated reasons and looked at the clock and decided to try for it.)

So on Boingboing there was a Puzzle from that's how it happened.

The three way pistol duel puzzle

You're a cowboy, and get involved in a three way pistol duel with two other cowboys. You are a poor shot, with an accuracy of only 33%. The other two cowboys shoot with accuracies of 50% and 100%, respectively. The rules of the duel are one shot per cowboy per round. The shooting order is from worst shooter to best shooter, so you get to shoot first, the 50% guy goes second, and the 100% guy goes third, then repeat. If a cowboy is shot he's out for good, and his turn is skipped. Where or who should you shoot first?

My answer/reasoning behind the cut. I think my logic is good so I didn't crunch the numbers, but it wouldn't be hard to do so.

You should shoot the 100 percent guy first. In any longer version of the puzzle, any given position should shoot the highest percentage person who isn't them available.

Let's call our people Alice, Bob, and Carol.
Alice shoots to hit at 33%, Bob at 50%, and Carol is a crack shot at 100%

That means each round runs Alice to Bob to Carol.

In the first round, if Alice shoots and misses, it doesn't matter who she shoots at, but if she shoots at Bob and hits, then Carol only has one possible target, Alice, and Alice dies. If Bob shoots at Alice and hits, then again, Carol's only target is Bob. Carol should, of course, shoot at whoever has the best chance of hitting her each round.

If everyone follows my rule above, then Alice has a 16.5% chance of being killed in the first round. Bob has a 33% chance of being killed in the first round, and Carol has a (I think...) 66 percent chance of being killed in the first round.

What books do you wish had been written by someone else? Books where you fell in love with the characters or the story or the setting, or something, and the author couldn't pull it off?

My big ones are:
The Stephen Donaldson Thomas Covenant books. I love the setting, I love the characters except the protagonists.

John Ringo's Pre-Ghost Work. (Ghost et al. could just go away.)

Eww. He started so strong then went insane. And he stripped the rape scene from Friday out and used it twice in Cally's War. Perhaps the least stolen Heinlein scene ever. For a good reason.

Goodkind's Sword of Truth

Such a strong start, such a miserable everything else.

So a while ago, I bought an electronic copy of Beyond the Infinite. I was just playing all of the music I got at that time, and I realized something. I am almost certain that the track Mars on that disk is straight out of Armitage III. I'm going to have to wait to verify because someone's borrowing my DVD, but I'm 90 percent sure that it is in there. (Not listed on the soundtrack on amazon though.)

Oh yeah:
New contact stuff:
720 S. College Mall Rd.
Apt C-3
Bloomington, IN 47401



Ooh I got a library card at the Bloomington public library! Very happy.

I inaugurated it (have I mentioned how much I love Firefox's spell checker?) by grabbing a very short stack of books. Since it is about a 2 mile walk home, I'll probably seldom get more books than fit in my backpack. Sadly, at least two books weren't the ones I was on in their respective series. On the other hand, two of them were new books by Elizabeth Bear. The first, New Amsterdam, was a good read, though I already knew I liked the characters since one of the sub-stories had previously been published.
It is likely that New Amsterdam would have been the best book of the month for me if I hadn't grabbed her other new book.

Whiskey and Water surpasses Blood and Iron (which I loved a lot) as a work of art. I've heard complaints that these books are very confusing and hard to follow. I didn't think so, but then if you've ever heard me present a non-preprepared explanation of something, you'll know that I think in twisty bits. There is a scene near the end with Lucifer and the unicorn that hits a fair chunk of my oh yes triggers.

Oh yeah, and I grabbed something by Diane Duane. Diane's name is one I've come across a lot in various nodes connected to eBear's blog. It always sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. It turns out that she wrote the Star Trek book that convinced me to keep giving Star Trek books a chance for at least a year after I would have probably quit reading them. She wrote Spock's World, which is possibly the best Star Trek novel ever, and definitely the best one that my 10-13 year old self had ever read.
Well, I've now read the first book in her young wizards books, So You Want to be a Wizard. Again, very cool, and now I am going to find more of her writing.

So, Five days into the WoW trial and I learn that there is a skill point cap and a level cap. The SP cap I found the hard way. The level cap I would have found the next time I tried to level my paladin. This is most distressing, especially since it will probably be a while till I can afford to subscribe to the game. (Also? Since the trial doesn't allow any form of trading with other players, my paladin is very under powered for level 20.)

So far a fun game. When they do things right, there is an epic grandeur to the place. This mostly means when the horizon is constrained. The plains settings are mostly sort of blah, and I would really love to have more natural transitions from zone to zone. Often there is a wavy line where the colors change.