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Comment: Re:Well, I never (Score 3, Insightful) 47 47

Yes, they could have used their influence to stop pretty much everything the Tories have done. And if they had the coalition would have fallen apart, and no one would have taken them seriously as a party they could have done business with in the future. They made some bad decisions, especially in the beginning but as the minority partner in the coalition I think they have actually done pretty well. Of course I'd rather have seen them let the Tories form a minority government then screw them at every turn. But they really wanted to get their electoral reform ideas through.

Comment: More reasonable figure (Score 1) 345 345

Taking someone's more reasonable suggestion of Indian outsourcing, and training people to do the job rather than using judges:
It was difficult to find an average Indian call-center salary, so lets use Rs 300k. This was at the upper end but using the high figure makes some allowance for training and other costs.
This is $5610.
Of course you may want differing levels of staff, and can use some software. I would say using a system of software flagging, geared to hit more false positives than risk missing something followed by a review by a human, with a system for them to refer it to someone more experienced/qualified if its not straightforward could reasonably cut the hours requirement in half. So, 199584/2=99792.
Multiplying this by the much more reasonable salary gives 99792 * $5610 = $559,833,120.
Still a hell of a lot of cash, but probably not unaffordable to Google.

Comment: Re:But does it extend battery? (Score 1) 290 290

Or more likely leaving your phone charging on the dashboard of your car leads to someone smashing the window and stealing it. I tend to try and keep my phone out of sight to deter casual theft, I don't really see how a solar powered phone would be compatible with this.

Comment: So what's the problem? (Score 1) 344 344

Leaving aside that I have doubts that looking at someone's facebook page will tell you very much about their credit worthiness. I think banks and other companies wishing to give you loans/finance should be able to use any information they can obtain to look at whether you are a good credit risk. If your myspace page can in a documented proven way tell them whether or not you are a good loan risk then they should be able to use it, I'm halfway tempted to say that they should be required to use it. Remember this whole financial crisis we seem to be having because the banks lent a load of money to people who couldn't pay it back? Is it really a good idea not to use any possible method to try and pick out people who wont repay their loans?

Comment: Not good game design (Score 1) 431 431

Think about it a minute.

You have civilians in game, there are a few options how its handled.
1. No consequences. The anti violence lobby goes nuts, the game is OK, but every time someone opens fire there are screams and civilians running. Probably quite entertaining hunting them down and shooting them but would distract from the main story and the novelty would soon wear off.
2. Instant consequences. You hit a civilian the mission is failed. This is annoying, failing missions from accidentally winging your computerised team mates is frustrating enough, this would be 10x more likely and as a consequence far more annoying.
3. Delayed consequences. You hit a civilian the game goes on, then in the end of mission debrief there are consequences. Either a mission failed redo it (immensely frustrating after spending half an hour working your way through a mission) or some negative impact on your score (but if you put a "number of civilians killed" score in there some people are going to try to max it out. This could actually be quite good if well thought out and there was some method of the computer distinguishing "accidental" civilian shootings from deliberate ones. Differing paths and mission briefings etc. But it means a lot more work from a game design perspective.

The other thing:
What are these civilians doing in my war-zone?
OK in some sort of terrorist event civilians aren't that unlikely. But once the shooting starts you will only find them cowering under tables behind locked doors. In a battlefield/war-zone scenario, the civilians would have had plenty of time to evacuate or lock themselves in the basement etc. So civilians just "wondering around" is highly unlikely.
Biotech

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133 133

eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

You will have many recoverable tape errors.

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