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Comment: Re:Tricky defense (Score 1) 70

I wouldn't make it so specific.

Simply ban any use of data gathered by ANY unmanned flying vehicle inadvisable in a court of law. Forbid police agencies from using unmanned vehicles (not just drones, but smaller 'copters as well) and have a $10,000 fine for anyone in law enforcement who operates one, and a $25,000 fine for their immediate supervisor.

No warrants, no permissions, no nothin'. You don't get to use 'em on citizens, boys, not now, not ever.

Comment: Re:Ditching cable and this is amond the reasons wh (Score 1) 210

by Hittman (#37972440) Attached to: FEMA, FCC Hope To Forestall Panic Over National Emergency Alert
It's even better when you're watching a show you recorded days ago and the alert mutes the sound and replaces it with annoying beeps.

All of the alerts I've seen are for severe weather. Hey, guess what? We're used to thunderstorms. We're already prepared for them. Yeah, if it were a tornado I'd be concerned, but not three days later.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a business opportunity to me (Score 5, Funny) 378

by Hittman (#33759212) Attached to: Google Releases New Image Format Called WebP
What kind of electricity was he using?

It's a known fact* that electricity from hydro has a smoother, more natural sound than electricity from nuke plants. Coal is somewhere in the middle of the two.

I've heard people claim "Most people can't tell the difference between .01 and .05 THD, but I can." Which is like saying "Most people can't read the surgeon general's warning on a pack of cigarettes from a half mile away, but I can."


*among wacky "audiophiles".

Comment: Re:It's the freeloaders time (Score 1, Insightful) 1051

by Hittman (#31389866) Attached to: Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

Since most sites feature those annoying ads, it's easier to just block them all. Advertisers don't seem to realize that one flashing ad on one site will result in us turning off all ads, everywhere.

If there was no animation in ads I'd leave them on - sometimes they're useful, sometimes they're entertaining, and at the very least they may help the site make a buck. But that's not going to happen. We're constantly subjected to ads that get more and more annoying, so we just turn them all off. And when a site takes the time to carefully screen their ads it doesn't make much difference - we've already blocked them everywhere.

Comment: Re:Simple reason (Score 1) 490

by Hittman (#31286556) Attached to: The Sad History and (Possibly) Bright Future of TiVo

I've had Tivo almost since it's been out. I tried the Time Warner DVR and it was, hands down, the worst piece of consumer electronics I've ever used. (That includes the PC Jr. and top loading VCRs with mechanical tuners.) Even though it was much cheaper, and the whole package gave me more channels, after three weeks of frustration I had TW yank it out and went back to my Tivo.

That was back in 2003. I wrote about it, ( and I still get e-mail on that article, informing me that every complaint I had back then is still valid.

Tivo just works, and the UI is incredibly simple and intuitive. That's worth enough for some of us to pay the higher price.

Comment: Re:So Iran's standards then? (Score 5, Informative) 697

by Hittman (#31085870) Attached to: Appeals Court Rules On Internet Obscenity Standards

In 1994 the Amateur Action BBS in California annoyed a prude postal inspector in Tennessee who signed on, paid a fee and downloaded porn. In order to get the extradition orders he mailed the owners real kidde porn. They were arrested, extradited, the kiddie porn indictment was thrown out, and they were then tried based on Tennessee's community standards. They lost and were sent to prison.

I was running a 21 line subscription BBS at the time (Electric Avenue). It was primarily for chat, games and forums, but I had a half dozen CDs of dirty GIFs people could download. When this case hit the news I removed the pictures immediately. I had no desire to spend everything I owned defending myself against a jury of toothless "peers" in some backwater state.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.