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Comment Seems reasonable to me (Score 4, Insightful) 545 545

The headline makes it sound like the police searched his car, but the article doesn't say that.

Assuming there was no search and the officer simply asked him why the car was radioactive and was satisfied with the explanation, this sounds like an example of the system working.

I'm actually very impressed that these detectors are widely deployed and sensitive enough to pick this up.

Comment Re:Data Posioning.... (Score 5, Insightful) 312 312

I find your claim a somewhat incredible. How did they know when these companies were coming? And then how did they cause traffic disruptions? Did the residents take turns parking on the road for hours on end? Did they fake car accidents? That seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through, with considerable risk of police intervention, just to reduce tourist traffic on a nearby highway. What is your source for this information?


North Korean Flash Games For Export 211 211

linzeal writes: "Despite it being pretty-much closed off to the world, North Korea is the next boom place for IT and tech outsourcing, PC World has reported. Flash games are being developed there for outside publishers, largely thanks to the home-grown talent. Does this mean that the the cartoon company that makes The Simpsons might use North Korea as well? Well it looks like they already have started."

Comment Re:Mars (Score 1) 319 319

Totally false. I single person with a rover could have done in a day what spirit has done during it's whole mission.

Well, sending a person is dramatically more expensive. So maybe compare to 50 rovers?

A human could have driven Spirits entire path in a day on something no fast than a golf cart.

Well what the heck does the human have to do with that, then? Why not put the rover on the golf cart? The rovers have the best drive system possible with the power and weight constraints of the mission.

Humans can fix broken or flaky equipment.

Maybe? If you send them the spares and a clean room to work in?

Yes, if you give humans better equipment than the robots, plus the additional costs of a life support system and a ride home, they can do a better job. How is that surprising?

There is only one fundamental limitation with the robots -- the latency of the speed of light making tele-operation inconvenient. But that's not such a huge deal. The robots just have to be a little smarter about navigating on their own. And they already are.


Verizon Droid Tethering Comes At a Hefty Price 555 555

Pickens writes "Tom Bradley reports in PC World that the new Motorola Droid smartphone will cost users $199.99 with a 2-year contract, with an additional $30 per month for the mandatory 'unlimited' data plan that has a monthly cap of 5Gb. Verizon will charge $50 for each additional gigabyte over the 5Gb limit on the unlimited data plan. Verizon has confirmed that tethering will cost another $30 per month for an additional unlimited data plan that is also limited to 5Gb. If you want tethering you will pay $60 above and beyond the monthly contract for service for an 'unlimited' 10Gb of data per month, and if you plan on connecting with an Microsoft Exchange email account you have to pay another $15 a month. 'Verizon seems to be doing everything it can to make the Droid as unappealing as possible by nickel and diming customers so that actually using it is not cost-effective,' writes Bradley. 'After all of the hype around Verizon's marketing efforts, and generally favorable reviews of the Motorola Droid, users that rush out to get the new device may be in for a shock.' Droid users will have to wait until sometime in 2010 for tethering. 'That service is on our schedule for next year,' says Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney. The delay is because 'the service has to be tested on the phone so until we know it works, we don't offer the service. It is not uncommon for us to introduce the phone and continue to test the service and offer it later.'"

Comment Re:Anyone who thinks they can change the weather.. (Score 1) 380 380

Oh get off it. You're just being a contrary to the point of hyperbole. And you're completely wrong.
Go read
"This rate of energy release is equivalent to 70 times the world energy consumption of humans and 200 times the worldwide electrical generating capacity, or to exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes."

Wikipedia also says that all nuclear testing amounted to 510 megatons of energy released.
I don't know how that related to all "all explosives ever detonated", but assuming that is the total, then it would take a hurricane ~1,000 minutes to match the energy. You were off by a factor of at minimum 1,000 with your hyperbole.

Now, disregarding that, you're simply wrong that we can't influence hurricanes. It's simple math. If the water 100m below the surface if 5 degrees cooler, and we clearly understand how every change in water surface temperature influences hurricane strength, you can easily calculate how much energy we need to expand to pump that water up and how long it will stay there before convecting back down, etc... You can come up with a straightforward figure for how many joules our fleet needs to expend, and judging by this patent, it's not an astronomical figure.

Stop spouting this whole "noble nature" myth. Humans got to be a successful, spacefaring civilization by engineering the hell out of our environment. Our water system, the land, etc. This is just the next step.


Major Spike in Security Threats To Online Games 48 48

Gamasutra reports on data from security software firm ESET, which shows a major increase in the number of gaming-related security threats over the last year. They attribute the rise in attacks to the amount of money involved in the games industry these days. ESET's full report (PDF) is also available. "[ESET's research director, Jeff Debrosse] explains: 'It's a two-phase attack. If someone's account was compromised, then someone else can actually [using their avatar] during a chat session, or through in-game communication... they could leverage that people trust this person and point them at various URLs, and those URLs will either have drive-by malware or a specific [malware] executable. What ends up happening is that folks may end up downloading and using it. This is just one methodology.' These attackers also target gamers in external community sites, says Debrosse, through 'banners on websites or URLs in chat rooms or forums' — which can lead to unsafe URLs. 'If [users] don't have adequate protection, they could very well be downloading malware without their knowledge.'"

Comment Re:Not a robot conspiracy (Score 5, Informative) 235 235

It shouldn't have just been denied an oral presentation, it should have been caught by the program committee and never reviewed. You can't read 3 sentences of that abstract without knowing that it's garbage.

Presumably someone DID review this and deny it an oral, but didn't follow up with the program committee to make sure it was pulled entirely.

I've never been to a conference which pity accepts papers. CVPR, a IEEE conference on computer vision, has a 25% acceptance rate for posters. I think this paper is quite an embarrassment to IEEE.

Comment Re:Recruit-a-friend (Score 1) 173 173

Good point, although the recruit-a-friend EXP bonus works even with free, trial accounts (which are capped at level 20) and ceases to work on any account at level 60.

So in total, you could argue that this is a shell game to make you pay for an experience bonus, but it's only going to matter for a level range that is perhaps 1/3rd or 1/4th of the leveling process.

I actually really enjoy the leveling process in WoW. I can't imagine how it used to be in EQ, where you would just camp one spot in a dungeon and repeatedly pull respawns.

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. -- John Kenneth Galbraith