Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Basic Rules no longer free (Score 1) 140

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47710973) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

They are still free AFAIK. They also contain only some of the races and classes (dwarf, elf, halfling, and human for races; cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard for classes) and spells that are in the full Player's Handbook. The PHB includes races like dragonborn, half-elf, half-orc, and tiefling and classes like barbarian, bard, druid, paladin, etc. in addition to those from the Basic Rules.

Comment: Re:So ... (Score 1) 213

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47671881) Attached to: How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier

Make the orbital facility completely unmanned. If you're worried about the delay in sending control signals to robotic manipulators with which researchers can perform experiments, send the researchers to the space station. If the orbital facility becomes contaminated, destroy it and let the heat of reentry sterilize the pieces or send it on a trajectory into the sun (which again will sterilize it.)

If it is just an unmanned experiment station, I wonder how small and how inexpensive we could make it.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47582281) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

That is a completely irrelevant example. Were not talking about subpoenaing a foreign company or entity. We are talking about forcing companies operating in the US to turn over information that is in their possession (under there control).

I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but IS the data under Microsoft US's control? Or is the data on a computer under the control of Microsoft Ireland (which I'm guessing is a separate corporation, if for no other reason than tax purposes) to which they've granted Microsoft US certain access? If the latter, could Microsoft US be forced to use the access it's been granted by another corporation to access information owned by that other corporation to grab the data for the US government?

What's Microsoft's corporate structure look like, and does the DOJ have a different answer for that question than the IRS?

Comment: Re:See, I would have... (Score 1) 63

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47565251) Attached to: EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog

So when/if they extend this to PC, I predict the fee will be $5 per month or $30 per year for SecuROM versions or $500 per month or $3000 per year for non-SecuROM versions. That way they can say that they heard their customers and are offering non-DRM versions of their software. When no one subscribes for the more expensive service, they can drop it and claim "We tried, but no one wanted the non-DRM version! Back to DRM for us!"

Comment: Re:Adam West (Score 1) 701

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47500961) Attached to: Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Redirecting funds and materials from Wayne Enterprises R&D for his own pet projects. Or to put it more bluntly, embezzling.

I'm more curious about how he ensured that the construction workers who build the Batcave and brought in all the heavy equipment (especially the Bat-Computer) kept their mouths shut. Sure, Wayne would have paid them well for their discretion, but surely SOMEONE would have bragged "Yeah, well I helped build the Batcave!" after getting too drunk one night. Or is there a pile of bones at the bottom of the Batcave that ensure the workers' silence more completely than money?

Comment: Re:C'mon. The tubes analogy really is a good one. (Score 1) 110

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47406661) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

The "information superhighway" analogy isn't perfect, but I think it is close enough to correct to be a useful analogy while being familiar enough for laymen to understand.

You can think of the Internet like our system of roads. There are major interstate highways; these are the backbone of the Internet, with many lanes of bandwidth. Smaller highways connect to the major interstates; these are run by your ISPs. Even smaller roads lead from those smaller highways to your home. When you send an email or type the address of a website into your browser, that message is broken into small pieces (say small enough to fit in a motorcyclist's pocket) that are carried along the roads, highways, and interstates to the destination of the email or the computer that hosts that website. If one of those small pieces gets lost, the destination computer sends a message back asking the sending computer to send another copy of that piece.

At the interchanges between the interstate and the smaller highways and the smaller highways and roads, there are stop lights, yield signs, signs describing how to get to certain destinations, and other traffic control mechanisms. As a road becomes saturated with messages on motorcycles, the "highway patrol" will tell messengers to wait their turn before proceeding onto the road, or to take a detour to another less congested road. By detouring messages to different roads, messages can still get through even if one road is busy, damaged, or blocked by censorship.

The principle of "network neutrality" or "net neutrality" is that all the motorcycle messengers on a road are treated the same. But some ISPs have noticed a lot of messengers wearing the Netflix logo on their jackets traveling their highways, and so want to restrict how many Netflix messengers travel on their highways for free at the same time. [While I use Netflix in this explanation, this could also affect other companies that send lots of messengers along the Internet.] Their plan for "fast lanes" is to set up a toll booth on their highways, and if too many Netflix messengers want to go through at once they'll have those messengers wait in line. Alternately, Netflix could pay them to set up an "EZ-Pass" lane to the highway; if Netflix is willing to pay a higher toll, the ISP will let those messengers pass through the tolls more quickly. Opponents of the "fast lane" plan worry that if an ISP has many EZ-Pass lanes for various companies, it will result in messengers whose companies DON'T have EZ-Pass (like small start-ups that can't affect the EZ-Pass) being stuck at the tolls for a long time while their competitors' messengers fly through unslowed.

Another possible solution to the problem of congestion on the Internet would be for companies to make the interstates, highways, and roads broader so they can carry more traffic. In the real world, we can't always expand roads with more lanes because of existing buildings lining them or other constraints. In the Internet, those land-availability constraints don't really apply (though there are a few other constraints.) However, one constraint that exists both for real-world roads and for Internet roads is that expanding roads with more lanes costs money.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 702

One example: a person flying from India to a destination A in the US has a short stopover in a different US city B. Are they going to be rescreened before boarding the flight from B to A? Maybe, maybe not. [Let's say someone breaches security and forces EVERYONE to be rescreened.] If they had to run from the gate where their flight from India to B landed to make their connection from B to A, they may have a dead battery (India to the US is a pretty decently long trip, I've heard) and may have had no opportunity to recharge it.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 4, Informative) 119

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47350923) Attached to: Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

From the article, "City officials said the first units in Boston will be funded by Cisco Systems, a leader in development of smart city solutions, at no cost to the city."

As for why Boston got them first, rather than other cities around the country, my guess would be because they're a local product. "The high-tech benches were invented by MIT Media Lab spinoff Changing Environments, a Verizon Innovation Program."

Comment: Who's to say we're not being watched now? (Score 2) 686

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47218783) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Before diplomats from one country meet with diplomats from another country on Earth, they study everything they can about the situation and their counterparts. What if aliens are monitoring our communications to learn more about us -- what we do, why we do it, what we believe, how we're likely to respond to different scenarios, etc.? No one says that even if aliens came to Earth the first thing they'd do is find some schlub and say "Take me to your leader." Nor is it unlikely that a race capable of crossing the void between stars could hide from us, say by looking like a comet or asteroid.

Comment: Re:but (Score 4, Insightful) 191

So John Smith files suit against MegaCorp Inc. (with a legitimate claim) but MegaCorp's army of lawyers buries Smith in motion after motion, draining his coffers dry. When he loses (because he doesn't have enough money left to continue) he's on the hook for the millions of dollars in expenses MegaCorp's army of accountants can somehow link to the case.

There needs to be some protection for this situation, but there also needs to be consequences for "spaghetti suing" -- filing lawsuits against anyone and everyone and seeing which ones get settled and which ones stick. Maybe a superlinear increase in the cost to file suits based on the number of suits you've filed? If you want to file suit in a given issue against two or three people, you're not going to pay much extra, but if you want to sue a hundred people separately you're going to pay through the nose. [And you're not allowed to "lump together" people without showing a good reason to lump them together.]

Comment: Re:Physical interdiction of trucks? (Score 1) 207

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#47129455) Attached to: UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages

Why interdict the trucks? The requirements to be a UPS driver are likely much lower than the requirements to be an NSA agent. Have an agent get hired by UPS as a driver, then have that driver "specially handle" packages headed to certain locations. Unless the package is a rush delivery, is a recipient really going to notice that it took an extra couple hours or even an extra day to travel between Cisco's manufacturing or shipping location and their home or office?

Then just because one UPS employee knows that the NSA intercepted packages (because they did it themselves) wouldn't mean the UPS organization as a whole knows that the NSA intercepted packages. UPS could truthfully state that the organization had no knowledge of such an activity.

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord