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The Almighty Buck

Can You Buy a License To Speed In California? 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the downside-is-that-you-have-to-be-in-california dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Alex Mayyasi reports that in the parking lots of Silicon Valley's venture capital firms, expensive cars gleam in the California sun and a closer look reveals that the cars share a mysterious detail: they nearly all have a custom license plate frame that reads, 'Member. 11-99 Foundation.' Are the Bay Area's wealthy all part of some sort of illuminati group that identifies each other by license plate instead of secret handshakes? The answer is the state highway patrol — the men and women that most people interact with only when getting ticketed for speeding. A number of the frames read 'CHP 11-99 Foundation,' which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Donors receive one license plate as part of a $2,500 'Classic' level donation, or two as part of a bronze, silver, or gold level donation of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. Rumor has it, according to Mayyasi, that the license plate frames come with a lucrative return on investment. As one member of a Mercedes-Benz owners community wrote online back in 2002: 'I have the ultimate speeding ticket solution. I paid $1800 for a lifetime membership into the 11-99 foundation. My only goal was to get the infamous 'get out of jail' free license plate frame.'

The 11-99 Foundation has sold license plate frames for most of its 32 year existence, and drivers have been aware of the potential benefits since at least the late 1990s. But attention to the issue in 2006-2008 led the foundation to stop giving out the frames. An article in the LA Times asked 'Can Drivers Buy CHP Leniency?' and began by describing a young man zipping around traffic — including a police cruiser — and telling the Times that he believed his 11-99 frames kept him from receiving a ticket. But the decision was almost irrelevant to another thriving market: the production and sale of fake 11-99 license plate frames. But wait — the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. 'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"
Businesses

Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake? 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the pay-seven-cents-to-agree-or-disagree dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This article makes the case that most gamers treat 'free-to-play' games with derision and scorn when they really shouldn't. The author refers to it as 'snobbery.' We've all either encountered or heard about a game company using shady business practices to squeeze every cent from their users through in-app purchases (a.k.a. microtransations, a.k.a. cash shops), or a simple pay-to-win format. But these stories don't represent all games — by a long shot. It's something endemic to shady developers and publishers, not the business model. Think about traditionally-sold games, and how often you've seen a trailer that horribly misrepresents gameplay. Or a $60 game that was an unfinished, buggy mess. Or a Kickstarted project that didn't deliver on its promises. The author says, 'When something is new, when it isn't aimed at you, when it is created by strange people in strange places, when it breaks established norms and when it is becoming hugely popular... it's scary for the establishment. The ethical critique is an easy way to fight these changes, a call to protect the children or protect the irrational people who obviously can't like these games on their own merits. We begin to sound as reactionary as the ban on pinball or the fears over jazz music corrupting the minds of our youth.'"
Bug

Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration 664

Posted by timothy
from the go-ahead-ask-your-car-a-question dept.
New submitter robertchin writes "Michael Barr recently testified in the Bookout v. Toyota Motor Corp lawsuit that the likely cause of unintentional acceleration in the Toyota Camry may have been caused by a stack overflow. Due to recursion overwriting critical data past the end of the stack and into the real time operating system memory area, the throttle was left in an open state and the process that controlled the throttle was terminated. How can users protect themselves from sometimes life endangering software bugs?"

Comment: Ahem... (Score 1) 2219

by BLKMGK (#46193537) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

At work i don't login and was one of those "just 25%" who got redirected to your "beta". I read the site for tech news at work and I especially read the comments to gain additional insight. Your beta was such a steaming pile I stopped reading it completely at work and stuck to reading it at home registered.

The comments were spread out, there was a ton more whitespace EVERYWHERE, it was hard on the eyes. the moment I found out there was a way to direct to the old classic style I did it! If you shove anything that looks like that down our throats again I'll leave for good - just like I did Digg and just like I've left other sites. I don't read the site for ads, I don't even read it for the most up to date articles because you are ALWAYS behind. I get the most out of the insightful comments that often show up from people who have knowledge in areas i don't or who have different thoughts that I've not been exposed to. Stop fucking that up idiots! This is like someone woke up from a nightmare and wrote Unity or Metro for Slashdot - seriously?! I don't use any of those either and for good reasons not simply because new is difficult - it's not...

Comment: Re: Obligatory car analogy (Score 1) 338

by BLKMGK (#46070953) Attached to: Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

We currently have shit for bandwidth, many people want way more bandwidth and could argue they need more bandwidth NOW much less in the future. Billions? How about the money already given to these companies by our Govt. actually be used for rolling it out? The Govt. and the people, except apparently for you, recognize that bandwidth offers opportunity and innovation. I will point out, again, that if everyone had your attitude we'd still be using 2400baud modems to download ASCII p0rn instead of streaming HD movies from Netflix. Were it not for bandwidth Netflix simply wouldn't have the business opportunity that they have now. You apparently think that all of these opportunities are done and gone despite what Google is doing - wake up.

Other countries are already doing this - we are FAR from the top of the heap when it comes to availability much less bandwidth. I spoke to someone just tonight from Finland who told me that network access was as much a critical utility as water where she's from. Our attitudes, and yes your's, are all wrong. If there's fail here it's you.

Done feeding the troll now O/

Comment: Re: Obligatory car analogy (Score 1) 338

by BLKMGK (#46065395) Attached to: Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Google is doing it, DOCSIS 3 gets us 300+Mbps, and FIOS has made some inroads with fiber into the home - I have it. Other countries are doing it too albeit with more density.

My point was that it CAN and would be utilized and that there IS a point for rolling it out. If we all took the attitude of "good enough" I'd still be listening to a 2400baud modem making connections.

Comment: Re:Until you experience the speed ... (Score 1) 338

by BLKMGK (#46065169) Attached to: Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Interesting, you say it's for metal detection the other guy says it's for being charged by RF and is continuous. Someone ain't right. Regardless, once the cable goes in the ground, is attached to a house, is strung on a wire, and is then left alone - shit happens. One would hope the original installer did it right (I've seen some FIOS installs...) but after he leaves? Jimmy Bob does who knows what and might even just bury some Romex on top of your cable :-) Hell I've actually SEEN guys use ductape to secure ladders before climbing to some pretty decent heights and couldn't help but shake my head. In my area code inspectors actually got into a heated argument about how best to run power to an outbuilding I was having constructed. My contractor simply excused himself, allowed them to continue, and we had it inspected with the bare minimum to pass. Right after they left we had a licensed electrician run it the way he best knew how and called it a day - they haven't seen it since or the double handful of circuits I added once the box was in. "Code" has to take into account freaky things and while it's extremely possible this was simple stupidity of them treating glass like copper it's also possible they've seen things and decided to protect against them. Code seldom ever sits still either, it seems ot be ever changing and fluid plus it varies from locale to locale

Comment: Re:Obligatory car analogy (Score 3, Insightful) 338

by BLKMGK (#46064853) Attached to: Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

What bitrate are those "1080p" videos at? Oh, I thought so.

Imagine having that 1Gb connection. Imagine that you can't use it all but that you can do anything you want with it. do you think maybe you might sit down and ponder, that you might try to imagine better ways to use it? Cloud backup service is obvious and done. Video is done and being done. Keep going. Just sit and use your imagination and I suspect that you will eventually think of something new that cannot be done now with existing normal bandwidth. Maybe it's something silly, maybe it's something crazy, maybe it turns out to be something life changing.

THAT is why we need to have bandwidth well over and above what we have now. We need to have enough that people sit down and think up new ways to use, innovate, maybe find a way to save a life or help another. We've done this with CPU and GPU for a long time, disk space too. My first HDD was 40MEG and nearly the size of a shoebox. Suppose way back then someone had spoken as you have and decided that we would never need more and was listened to. We need to bring fuel for dreams and imagination - right now we're WELL behind the curve for that...

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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