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Comment Not Surprising... (Score 1) 142

The 2K baseball games are horrible. They are full of bugs and totally unrealistic. I picked up 2K7 out of a clearance bin a couple years ago and in my second game playing I struck out 23 batters. 23 out of a possible 27 outs were strikes outs. No, I wasn't pitching as Randy Johnson or someone like that, I was pitching as Ted Lilly!! If you want a real challenge, pick up MLB: The Show. Overall a more realistic baseball game, and you definately won't be throwing a perfect game after an hour of playing.

Comment Re:Sold Stolen Property to Highest Bidder (Score 1) 404

California Civil code, section 2080, outlines the following procedure for dealing with lost property:

1) Find lost property;
2) Do I know who owns this?
If yes - I must make a reasonable effort to return it to them.
If no, or you know who the owner is but cannot contact them - continue on to 3.
3) Is the item's value more than $100?
If yes - I must turn the item over to to the police who have jurisdiction over the location where I found the item.
If no - I commit no crime by keeping the item.

Comment Re:What about the presumption of innocence? (Score 1) 1590

I'm not sure US immigration detainment counts as jail time because in this case one does not get 1) the right to representation by a lawyer 2) the right to public transparency of the charges 3) the right to communicate with outsiders including family 4) the right to appeal 5) the right to a (not so) speedy trail by jury of one's peers. This detainment is most likely way, way under the radar of the Red Cross.

Comment Scientific-Atlanta did this 15 years ago. Hello! (Score 1) 393

They had a product called the SuperStat. It was a Honeywell programmable thermostat with an RF receiver module inside it. When the utility called for load control, they'd send out a paging signal and the thermostat would kick the A/C off for the amount of time contained in the message.

S-A also had gray boxes that went outside the house for A/C control, and they also worked with water heater and pool pump control. This is nothing new.

Call it "generating negawatts". Instead of positive megawatt generation, we're generating negative megawatts to shave peak. Yes, I worked with these things, and yes, I work for a utility.

Comment Re:Why not sooner... (Score 2, Informative) 145

AFAIK there only were two companies that could provide turn by turn information (NavTeq and Tele Atlas). Nokia bought NavTeq and TomTom bought Tele Atlas. Shortly after that, Google fell out with Tele Atlas. That's when Google started its Streetview cars, which also collect turn by turn information.

Comment Re:This is where the FTC could really step in (Score 4, Interesting) 272

Not sure where you're getting unconstitutional from... The Supreme Court explicitly ruled use-taxes constitutional in Henneford v. Silas Mason Co. (300 US 577, 1937), provided the tax "is not so measured or conditioned as to hamper the transactions of interstate commerce or discriminate against them" (read as: as long as Use Tax isn't larger than the Sales Tax).

Comment "200 gigabytes/year for audio" is practical now (Score 1) 347

"200 gigabytes/year for audio" is not "still a few generations off" unless you particularly need the device to keep data locally for long periods.

200Gbyte/year is just over half a Gig per day. You could store nearly a fortnight on an 8Gb microsd card (which are not expensive and are very small even with the required read/write interface (see for a small one, and this device would not need the physical USB interface so could easily be made smaller)). As long as you switched card or otherwise offloaded the data to other storage in that time your 24/7 recording is good to go - battery life would be much more of a problem than storage.

I can imagine such a device being easy to produced right now. Maybe not as small as a little lapel badge, but certainly "StarTrek TNG broach-like communicator" size or smaller. All you need is a microphone, the card reader, a small processor for compressing the incoming data, and a battery. Battery life would be the big problem, but with advances in processor tech (doing more with less power), battery tech, and the potential in the near future for trickle charging from reclaimed energy (there are a number of research groups showing promising work around gaining power from human movement via devices inlaid in clothes or, for applications such a pace-makers, installed internally) I expect the device you describe is practical in the very near future if it isn't already now.

Heck, I could set my MP3 player to voice record and leave it in my pocket all day. Call that version 1.0, and work on miniaturisation and the interface to non-local storage.

Comment Re:The Linux side of this problem. (Score 1) 349

If you build an i586 image it will run just fine on x86_64, it can even support up to 64gb of memory on such systems.
Most standard linux distro kernels include support for pretty much any IDE/SATA controller you might encounter anyway, it is rare to find a linux system which won't boot due to lack of storage drivers.

Comment Re:better than RPtools? (Score 1) 2

The expression language in SceneGrinder for those attributes that need more complexity is javascript. For any game system, a template is build... usually a "character" template, which holds attributes (STR,DEX,INT, etc.). Templates are built in the online template editor, but if an attribute is complex the author can resort to javascript in the expression. Most expressions are simple one line affairs ([STR]/2 + [CON]/2), but you can go multi line and as complex as you need. Attributes can "contain" other templates, so you can have backpacks which contain equipment, one of which is a pouch with a box that contains a bag of get the idea. The docs are all online with plenty of sample expressions. I have not used RPtools myself so I cannot judge the difference. I know that's a fine and respected product, though. I'd love to hear your opinion on whether we moved the bar forward or not.

Comment Re:-1 False Assumption (Score 1) 976

This is the case in Michigan. You may not enter an intersection unless you can also exit the intersection in a reasonable amount of time. Entering in the case of vehicles blocking your exit is considered blocking the intersection. It's not running a red, but cameras can't be the basis for tickets here either.

Comment Re:XBMC on Ubuntu (Score 1) 304

XBMC is a great app, although the reason why you're finding it runs fine with your video card is that XBMC does not use any hardware acceleration. So you could have the best card in the world, and it wouldn't help performane.

That's not true. XBMC on linux supports hardware video decode via VDPAU ( ). nVidia Geforce 8xxx and later chips are supported, as are a couple of S3 Chrome chips. Depending on the age of the chip not all video codecs are accelerated, but all the supported chips include at least some support for H.264 and VC-1. Geforce 210 and later even accelerate XviD and DivX. Currently neither ATI nor Intel include support for VDPAU in their linux drivers.

XBMC has also recently added hardware decode support to their Windows build. It uses DXVA2 on Vista and Windows 7, and there is experimental support on XP using DXVA.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.