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Comment: Re:That does look cool (Score 1) 156

by Kugala (#33815326) Attached to: Gaming Mouse Changes Shape For a Custom Fit

RAT7 has a cord, RAT9 is wireless.

The only thing I miss on it is the Logitec N7's freewheeling mode on the scroll wheel to get through large docs (Or more typically deal with incredibly insensitive camera zooming in games).

That, and that silver wheel just above the thumb? That's a control, it rotates left/right. I have NO idea what to do with it.

Comment: Re:no way back (Score 2, Interesting) 513

by dcollins (#32126418) Attached to: Arizona Backs Off Its Speed Camera Program

"Unless of course you actually are a terrorist, in which case, I hope a camera catches you the same way the one in times square got caught."

You know the guy on camera had nothing to do with the attempted attack, right? He was just some innocent bystander taking his shirt off on a hot day, caught on camera, and thereafter imbroiled in an investigation which was wasting police time and inflaming the public as the actual terrorist almost got away? You know that, right?

But I suppose that's more support for your, "Nothing to worry about; all the cameras are misidentifying suspects" thesis.

Comment: Re:Perfect game in less than 90 minutes? (Score 1) 142

by Ubergrendle (#32126280) Attached to: Gamer Wins $1M For Pitching Virtual "Perfect Game"
Lets presume the company accurately modded the game mechanics of major league baseball. Perfectly reasonable given its heavily statistics based.

MLB has maybe 1 perfect game a year, or every other year. Lets say once every 2 years to be generous. There's 32 teams, playing 180 games (roughly)...thats 16 matches x 180 times x 2 years with a chance of producing a perfect game. So statistically, a 1 in 5760 chance of producing a perfect game.

Presuming this is a moderately successful game title, they sell...say, 100,000 copies in the first month.

The chances of this happening on the first day of sale were actually fairly good. Certainl within the first week.

If i was on the board of directors, I'd recommend summary execution for the marketing rep.

Comment: Re:Closed Developer ecosystem, !"Closed system" (Score 4, Insightful) 514

by derinax (#31909648) Attached to: History Repeats Itself — Mac & the iPad

The end does not justify the means. Anything that restricts developer and user freedom in a mass-market channel should be argued against.

And anything NOT open source can be considered a "closed system". Windows is a closed system. What Apple did was to extend the closure to the developer channel, such that it provides a single, monolithic, commercial gateway to the system, which has been very rare in the industry. Not even Microsoft at their most abusive would have attempted that kind of developer lockout.

Comment: Re:Victimless crimes.. (Score 1) 296

by AthanasiusKircher (#31770414) Attached to: Mass. Gambling Bill Would Criminalize Online Poker

Social Security is welfare. The amount you receive is generally much, much higher than what you pay in.

Conceptually, at least, Social Security is supposed to be an insurance policy, not welfare. The idea is (or, rather, was when it was first implemented) that people might and do live past the average life expectancy. Such elderly people may no longer be able to work to support themselves, so they get to cash in on an insurance policy against getting too old. If there's a flood in your community where it rarely floods, and you have flood insurance, you'll probably collect much, much more than what you paid in. Same with fire insurance, etc. That's the nature of insurance. And Social Security is supposed to be insurance against living past your life expectancy.

Why did we need this insurance? Because even by the 1930s when the system got going, communities were starting to fragment as people became more mobile, No longer could grandpa depend on his children (or even his community) to support him when he couldn't work any longer. The Great Depression resulted in even greater problems with elderly people not having enough to survive; hence a massive "group insurance policy" to help out those who lost the gamble and lived too long.

But now, instead of life expectancy being about 65 (as it was when the program was started), now it's almost 80. So the vast majority of people are being awarded a decade or more of their "insurance" for living past their expected lifespan. It's sort of like a flood insurance company that insured only one area, and due to dams and other developments, that community became a flood plain. Pretty soon that insurance company wouldn't be able to operate -- it would be paying out to everyone.

Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan, nor was it intended to be welfare. It's a broken insurance system. (People should pay attention, since the same problems with Social Security are destined for the national health care regulation when it goes from an insurance system to simply a distribution system, like Social Security has.)

Comment: Re:You forgot the "so what". (Score 2, Informative) 80

by ThreeGigs (#31734410) Attached to: Toshiba To Test Sub-25nm NAND Flash

Shrinking a process gives several benefits, but a quick general overview helps:
Silicon as used in chip manufacturing is expensive. It costs a lot to grow, cut and polish. It's also a mature industry, so no real breakthroughs are likely to happen to reduce the cost of the silicon. The less silicon area you use, the more chips you can make for the same cost. Next is manufacturing. Whether you put one transistor per square millimeter or 100,000 per square millimeter, the cost is the same, or at least within a penny. Coat, expose to a masked pattern, etch, sputter, clean and repeat a few times, and voila, you have a chip. Shining a light through a mask costs the same no matter the resolution of the mask. Dunking the wafer in a chemical etch bath is the same, running a wafer through a sputterer or CVD costs the same, etc. Labor costs are basically per wafer, so more components per wafer means you get more output for the same labor (and plant infrastructure) dollar.

So, a smaller manufacturing process means:
More components per wafer. Thus if you double the component density, your manufacturing costs will remain the same, and you can double output while keeping costs the same (think 32GB for the price of 16GB).

You can also make the chips smaller while keeping the same capacity (same 16GB chip uses half the silicon, thus costs 50% less to make, think 16GB for half the cost you paid last year).

Or, more capacity within given size limits. (think 64GB or 128GB SD cards, or 2 TB Compact Flash).

Comment: Re:This whole discussion should be moot. (Score 1) 168

by ScentCone (#31669416) Attached to: Newzbin Usenet Indexer Liable For Copyright Infringement
No amount of blind justification of strict government enforcement or ad hominem attacks against me and others like me will change that.

Nor will your deliberate (or wildly ignorant) mischaracterization of "idea communication" ever give you moral cover for wanting creative people to be your pet entertainment slaves. What does "blind justification" actually mean, anyway? There's nothing "blind" going on here - it's all very simple. You can't copy somebody's work without their permission, and some people grant that permission in advance, while others don't. You'd prefer to force that creative person to do as you see fit, because you think you are entitled to their day's work. Nothing blind about it - it's plain as day.

Comment: Re:But it is still blocked in Denmark. Workaround? (Score 1) 223

by qc_dk (#31496310) Attached to: Pirate Bay Legal Action Dropped In Norway

While the ISP did not log your attempt, the hotel has. It has become part of danish law that all communication must be stored. If you're Norwegian(or can read Danish :-)) this Danish article explains it: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=2445 The reason is tracking terror, but be aware that a list of all sites you visit will be stored for 1 year, and during that time the police can get a warrant to look through it.

Everyone was really mad went this went through all the way from ISP to bed and breakfast places. I've heard of one small rural hotel that disabled all their free Wi-Fi and instead you can walk across the road and use the owners Internet, which is not covered by this silly law.

Secondly, I would never do anything illegal, but I have a good "friend" who assures me you can easily access pirate bay from Danish ISPs simply by using host files. I know ... my friend ... does it.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 4, Insightful) 628

by caitsith01 (#31491790) Attached to: XML Co-Founder Joins Google, Blasts iPhone

Apple's control issues can be a pain, but they've simply never done anything like that. The fact that music players and associated file formats are frequently cited as one of the most high profile issues shows how weak the comparison is: even at their absolute worst in terms of lock-down, iTMS and the iPod have been quite usable with non-Apple products and systems, and most of the time, Apple's competed on their product merits and marketing skills rather than market pressure.

It's funny, you know. I can't remember one single occasion where Microsoft actually used its control of Windows to specifically prevent a competitor's product from functioning on a PC. Yes, they pushed their own stuff. But I could always install Opera or Mozilla or Lotus or whatever I wanted, and nothing built into the OS could or would prevent that. Likewise MS never attempted to 'protect' me from 'objectionable' material or otherwise impose its value judgments on me.

My memory loss must be pretty bad, because I also can't remember this fabled golden age when ipods and itunes were "quite usable with non-Apple products". What I can remember, though, is Apple changing the way files are written to an ipod over and over again to deliberately break compatibility with non-Apple software. I can remember my frustration that my ipod wouldn't let me simply drag music files on and off in via a file browser. I can remember Apple selling DRMed music through itunes which wouldn't work with my Creative Zen MP3 player. Funnily enough, I also remember Apple forcing me to install the bloated monstrosity that is quicktime on my system, and both itunes and quicktime then breaking my perfectly functional GUI standards almost as though they never existed.

As for your underlying thesis, it is immensely naive. "ipod" and "mp3 player" are more or less synonymous for most non-tech people I know. Apple is moving aggressively into video and text. And to me, control over our society's collective cultural record is far more significant than which web browser I use when I install a pre-2000 version of Windows.

Comment: Re:Billing and Payments (Score 5, Informative) 651

by Rich0 (#31389904) Attached to: Lessons of a $618,616 Death

Actually, from what I've been able to glean, the uninsured pay much more.

Here is the problem - you don't get the bill until AFTER services are rendered. For kicks, go ahead and ask your doctor what a procedure he is recommending will cost. He'll look at you like you're an alien.

So, you get a bill. The problem is that now you've already incurred the service, so you can't decide to shop around. You can try to barter, but bartering after the sale is not very effective. You're relying purely on the hospital's generosity. However, if the hospital really were generous, why would they be mailing you a bill for $100k knowing that most insurance companies would only give them $20k?

Most likely you'll talk that $100k bill down to $30k and then talk to your friends about how nice the hospital was to you. What you don't realize is that they give a better deal to every insurance company on the planet. Nobody pays sticker price.

If I were running US healthcare one of the first laws I'd pass was that hospitals would need to publicize a full price list, and that EVERYBODY pays the same price. Since the hospital doesn't want to be dropped from every insurance plan in the country they'll publish a fair price, and then there is no penalty for not having insurance, or for having an insurance company without a lot of patients in the local area. Note, I am under no illusions that this would fix US healthcare entirely - it is a huge mess that needs MANY changes. This would just be one of the first I'd pass, since it saves money regardless of whether taxpayers or private insurers are paying for care.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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