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Comment: Re:FAIL! (Score 1) 768

by Mad_Rain (#43942537) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

However, convicting an innocent man destroys that mans life without question, there is no "it wont matter anyway", because it takes away his liberty and destroys the credibility of the entire system. Allowing a guilty man to go free because you didn't have the evidence increases the credibility of the system because it shows that the system plays by its own rules.

I think that's the most compelling argument that I've read in this thread. If only this could be modded up further....

Comment: Reframing... (Score 2) 221

by Mad_Rain (#42995183) Attached to: Six of Hanford's Nuclear Waste Tanks Leaking Badly

The Hanford cleanup project has been one of the most expensive American projects for nuclear cleanup. Plans are in place to create a treatment plant to turn the hazardous material into less hazardous glass (proposed to cost $13.4 billion), but for now officials are trying just to stop the leaking from the corroded tanks.

Don't think of it as a nuclear waste clean-up project, environmental fiasco, or other government boondoggle. Consider it a gift of a $13.4 billion dollar jobs program. ;-) (one with reeeeeally high stakes if it's screwed up).

Comment: Re:Seems perfectly reasonable (Score 1) 1591

by Mad_Rain (#42605213) Attached to: New York Passes Landmark Gun Law

How about instead of having a database of lawful gun owners, we have a Free, Open and Searchable database of all people with mentally unstable, or have violent tendancies. It makes much more sense.

That was semi sarcastic, in that nobody is suggesting that anyone that has had a mental breakdown or violent episode be put in a national database.

Actually, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA did suggest we keep a National Database of the Mentally Ill. (see page 3 of the transcript at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/21/us/nra-news-conference-transcript.html). Here are two (admittedly oversimplified) reasons to why we should have a Gun Owners' database vs. a Mentally Ill Database.

1. Gun owners WANT to own a gun, and (theoretically) take on the rights and responsibilities of ownership.

2. People who have a mentally illness DON'T WANT IT. They have enough problems receiving help and dealing with the stigma as it is.

Comment: Re:Facebook(2011):Google+::MySpace:Facebook(2005) (Score 1) 321

by Mad_Rain (#36713968) Attached to: Google+ Runs Out of Disk Space, Swamps Users With Notifications

jeebus cristo, you people are TECHIES. act like it. 'big content' hosting sites are not the only way to serve your own photos and html, even free forum software.

lazy. do your own site and html. its not rocket science!

...and while you're at it, code your own web server (without violating Apache's license!), your own operating system, and do it all on your own home-built computer, with silicon you smelted and mined by your own self! Stop being so lazy, you dumb techie!

+ - TI Against Calculator Hobbyists ... Again->

Submitted by Deep Thought
Deep Thought (1858138) writes "Texas Instruments, already infamous thanks to the signing key controversy last year, is trying a new trick to lock down its graphing calculators, this time directed toward its newest TI-Nspire line. The TI-Nspires were already the most controlled of TI's various calculator models, and no third-party development of any kind (except for its very limited form of TI-BASIC) was allowed until the release of the independent tool Ndless. Since its release, TI has been determined to prevent the large calculator programming community from using it. Its latest released operating system for the Nspire family (version 2.1) now prevents the calculators from downgrading to OS 1.1, needed to run Ndless. This is the TI's second major attack on Ndless, as the company has already demanded that websites posting the required OS 1.1 be removed from public download, obviously to prevent use of the tool. Once again, TI is preventing calculator hobbyists from running their own software on calculators they bought and paid for. Is TI going the way Apple did?"
Link to Original Source
Transportation

+ - Airlines Get Billions from Unbundled Services

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "In hearings before Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that airlines reported revenue of $7.9 billion from baggage fees and reservation change and cancellation fees in calendar years 2008 and 2009, fees on unbundled services that once were considered part of the ticket price and witnesses from the GAO, the Department of Transportation and associations for air travel and travel agents all urged the government to require uniform pricing information from airlines to help consumers make easy comparisons. "We believe that the proliferation of these fees and the manner in which they are presented to the traveling public can be confusing and in some cases misleading," says Robert Rivkin, the Department of Transportation's general counsel. Published fares used by consumers to choose flights don't "clearly represent the cost of travel when these services are added." However, Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ben Baldanza defended the practice of unbundling, saying it allows his airline to charge lower fares (PDF) and allows the customers the choice to purchase the services or not. "Carrying more than one bag is not necessary for all travelers and we believe it is unfair to charge those customers for extra services they do not use," testified Baldanza adding that bag fees have led customers to pack less reducing total baggage on flights, lowering airline's operating costs and resulting in fewer lost or damaged bags."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

+ - StarCraft II cost $100 million to develop->

Submitted by UgLyPuNk
UgLyPuNk (1166251) writes "Video game production is in a slump, the world’s struggling with the tail-end of the Global Financial Crisis, and Activision Blizzard has spent more than US$100 million developing StarCraft II.

The sequel’s been 12 years coming, and expectations are understandably high, with analysts predicting several million units will be sold this year alone – comfortably padding Activision‘s wallet."

Link to Original Source

Comment: End of the world! (Score 1) 305

by Mad_Rain (#30602434) Attached to: Russia Plans To Divert Asteroid

CyberDong writes "Roscosmos, Russia's Federal Space Agency, will start working on a project to save planet Earth from a possible collision with Asteroid Apophis

....

I don't think the news is that another asteroid is coming to crush us - the problem is that vibrators have apparently obtained sentience!*

* at least enough to post on slashdot.

Games

The Psychology of Achievement In Playing Games 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-you-don't-get-points-for-reading-this dept.
A post on Pixel Poppers looks at the psychological underpinnings of the types of challenges offered by different game genres, and the effect those challenges have on determining which players find the games entertaining. Quoting: "To progress in an action game, the player has to improve, which is by no means guaranteed — but to progress in an RPG, the characters have to improve, which is inevitable. ... It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform — to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master — to improve their skill or knowledge. Say you take a person with a performance orientation ('Paul') and a person with a mastery orientation ('Matt'). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved. Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle."

Comment: Re:Here's the math question.. (Score 1) 138

by Mad_Rain (#27370303) Attached to: New Speed Record Set For Wind-Powered Vehicles

Question is: If it takes a 40 foot high wing to move a 1 ton car, how big of a wing would you need to move a 50,000 ton container ship?

I think a better question is: Why do you need to move a ship that big on sail power alone? While it would be cool to do so, using wind power in conjunction with conventional engines improves efficiency reducing fuel consumption between 10 and 35 percent, which is a good start.

Google

+ - Google Checkout sees poor customer satisfaction

Submitted by
Aryabhata
Aryabhata writes "As per an Arstechnica report on a survey by investment firm J.P. Morgan Securities, Google Checkout has had a relatively quick and modest market penetration of six percent since its launch in June of 2006, but lags behind in customer satisfaction vs PayPal. On the customer satisfaction front, only 18.8 percent reported having a "good" or "very good" experience with Google Checkout, while 81.2 percent indicated a fair to poor experience customer experience compared to PayPal's 44.2 percent reporting good experiences. Some users have reported anecdotally that Google Checkout mistakenly canceled sales without warning or that the checkout process took too long."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Top 5 annoying things about Top 10 lists

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "http://www.kevstrong.com/news/Viral/Top-5-annoying -things-about-Top-10-lists/ They drive me nuts! They are everywhere. You've seen them on the internet, the papers and even heard them on the radio in music charts. They were introduced to help give the audience a simple breakdown or summary of the best of the best but now they are out of control. There are so many things I dislike about them, so I decided to do the (un)obvious thing and create a Top 5 list."
Censorship

+ - Utah's Newest Attempt to Block Pornography

Submitted by gc8005
gc8005 (733938) writes "There's something brewing in Utah. A new, non-profit organization called CP80 that wants to segregate Internet content based on IP ports. To a lay person, it sounds plausible, as CP80 describes port segregation like cable TV channels. But unlike the cable system, it's easily bypassed. Even more disturbing are the founders and backers of CP80, which include Ralph Yarro, who was recently fired from his CEO position at Canopy Group (see SCO fiasco), and several venture capital firms. Even Darl McBride has donated to the cause. Why are VCs backing a non-profit anti-pornography organization? What's the real story behind CP80?"

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