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Comment Not only right, it's important (Score 4, Insightful) 257

In what era of human history before now have we had such thorough and widespread documentation of events both wonderful AND tragic. All those camera angles, all those photos, all that video and audio: it's hard to cover something up. Hard to hide evidence. Hard for police to quietly murder a black man and sweep it under the rug.

A person who videos INSTEAD of rendering aid, when their aid is needed, is a shithead.

But what do you expect? 100 people to all somehow help? We naturally now stratify into helpers and documenters. Both are important.

Comment You described a Web Page or an App (Score 2, Informative) 148

What you described is not an ebook, and there is no good reason to overload "ebook" with all of what you intend.

A web page or dedicated app is what you want. Make a phone app and/or a web site with a modern framework. Most people have tablets/phones, which will already render and interact with those formats just fine.

E-readers are specialized and limited devices that have a shrinking, not growing, user base. Tablets are surpassing them rapidly. There is literally no good reason to do what you are trying to do with any "ebook" format.

Comment Regulation was a long time coming (Score 1) 174

Sports are regulated. Sports betting is regulated.

eSports WILL be regulated. Fantasy sports betting WILL be regulated.

It's a sign of maturity when regulation comes down. This is a milestone, though the existing model will be shaken up. Great lecture from PAX on the subject:

Comment See who changes their password in the coming weeks (Score 2, Insightful) 146

If I were interested and had the access, I'd keep a log of anyone who changed their password on any system that I owned in the next couple weeks.

I wouldn't do anything with that data. But I'd keep it. If anything interesting happened later, and I could correlate an account on AM with an account on my system that changed its password shortly after this news broke... Well, that data could be interesting.

Data isn't dangerous. Looking at it and then looking at related information is.

Comment He chose Democrat because reasons (Score 4, Informative) 281

The original superpac was strictly non-partisan. However, it turned out that almost zero Republicans wanted anything to do with him, it, or campaign finance reform. So in practice, only Democrats supported the idea. The Republicans MAYDAY reached out to actively oppose campaign finance reform...

There really aren't viable candidates on the national stage outside of our two main parties. The vast majority of other parties are extreme fringe single-issue parties, and most of them are far right-wing or deeply religious. The only two parties that come even close to being worth mentioning are the Green Party and the Libertarian Party. The former can't get nationally elected, and the latter has caucused with the Republicans for over a decade now.

Comment Normal people have no way to know that (Score 4, Insightful) 394

Normal people don't know what applications are or how to install them. They click blindly, like newborn infants, until Microsoft Word appears, and then they express whatever it is in them that drove them to this extreme. Outlook is a gateway into a magical world of 576,442 unread emails and 500,333 unsent drafts. The "fix it" button on the front of the machine usually works, but sometimes doesn't. Their grandson tells them to stop hitting that button, but he's into voodoo and something called Mimecraft, so what does he know?

Comment Electric is Evolution. Driverless is Revolution (Score 5, Insightful) 904

The move to electric is a natural evolution, and will have a significant impact. The economies of scale in terms of pollution mitigation at power plants will utterly dwarf anything cars have ever been able to do themselves, transmission losses nonwithstanding.

Even if they only displace urban drivers (fewer per-trip miles, more population density facilitating more charging stations), the impact will be transformative. Watch the AQI loop around New York, and you can see air pollution rising and falling along the commuter roads into the City in lock step with the morning commute. I can't even imagine a New York with 50-80% fewer gas-powered cars on the road.

But that's still just evolution. Electric is just a natural step.

Driverless cars are the revolution. Electric makes existing car use patterns better. Driverless makes an entirely new paradigm. It may eliminate mass car ownership. It might eliminate parking lots. It might eliminate light rail in suburban areas. Taxis. Deliveries. Shipping. Police reponses.

Electric makes things better in well-projected ways. Driverless changes everything forever in ways we can't yet even imagine.

Comment MMORPGs aren't any of those things anymore (Score 1) 75

Massively Multiplayer
Role Playing Game

That's the initialism (it's not an acronym unless you pronounce it like a word.. Mumorpuguh?). But those words aren't what we should be talking about. The magic is in MASSIVE gaming experiences. MMOs fell far short of being anything more than the logical extension of MUDs and their kin. We keep building out and optimizing in a line forward from those expectations.

At the same time, that polish means we increasingly cast off the quirky, unique, or memorable experiences that the older MMOs did provide (even if they did so mostly by accident).

Here's a lecture from some years ago on the subject:

I still stand by everything I said then.

Comment Investing in a good PC pays off (Score 1) 558

I built my current rig in 2009, investing heavily in forward-compatibility for upgrades. The investment payed out more than I could ever have imagined.

In 2009, the PC was:

Intel Core i7-920 (2.97GHz)
6GB RAM (six DIMM slots, three used)
32GB SSD (for the OS)
512GB HD (files and stuff)
Current-gen video card @ ~$250 price point

Now, in 2015, all I've done is:

1. Add two larger SSDs
2. Upgrade the video card - currently a GTX770
3. Double the RAM (hell yeah six DIMMs)

The rig is perfectly capable of editing 4k video, playing most games just fine, rendering, and doing basically everything I need. Only now, probably at the end of the year, will I even consider a new rig. The motherboard's lack of USB3.0, the memory speed, the old PCIx standards, etc..., are finally reaching their limits.

I plan in 2015 to build a computer that I will use at least until 2022.

Comment Re:NYC DOES have some nice biking, but more needed (Score 1) 100

What? Have you ever even been to New York?

The High Line isn't for biking. The bike paths are open and don't get caught in traffic even during heavy commute times. The shore paths are mostly complete, and on the west side it goes from top to bottom with fully bike-friendly wide paved paths.

There are massive bike path networks along the parkways in the Bronx. There are long divided bike paths going as far out as the Rockaways and Flushing.

I bike from Queens to downtown Manhattan every day for my commute. It's about 7.5 miles, and I have easily five different ways that consist almost entirely of safe, clear bike paths.

Comment Gerrymandering (Score 5, Insightful) 609

These trends are not new. The sole reason there is a Republican majority in the House of Representatives is the massive gerrymandering that took place in the last decades. Democrats have consistently won the "popular" vote for the house, but districts are tactically set to favor Republicans almost across the board.

The districts are this way because while Millennials do indeed skew heavily liberal/Democrat/progressive, they tend to NOT get involved in state and local politics. Republican governors and state legislatures used the last gasps of the dying generation to secure powerful gerrymandered districts ensuring the GOP holds onto the house, at least until the next census.

An interesting side effect, however, is that these artificial superdistricts are such that the Republican is practically guaranteed to win it in the general election. Thus, far-right tea party nonsense candidates can appeal to their local base without much fear of throwing the actual election over to the Democrats. The safer these districts are for Republicans, the further right, racist, sexist, and old they'll skew for the foreseeable future.

Until young people get active in local and state politics, then it literally is a game of just waiting for the current old set in those places to die of old age.

Comment Nope. That's not what happened here... (Score 4, Insightful) 160

And, none of those reasons are why region locking was added to Steam.

Further, it's not region locking like you described and railed against. All Steam did is wall off a handful of regions where the local currencies are extremely volatile, and even then ONLY for accounts gifting games to one another between the rest of the world and these tiny regions.

Your butthurt is misguided here. Let the strawman go.

Comment Sue Them or Give Up (Score 3, Insightful) 159

There is no technological solution. (The phone system as a whole is just so old).

There is no human solution. (The other company will not bother).

You have three options.

1. Wait until it stops and ignore it
2. Change your phone number
3. Sue Level 3 for damages (and file a police report)

In my professional (but not legal: I am not a lawyer) opinion, there is no way to resolve this sort of problem other than suing the closest legitimate business that links you to the perpetrators. Whoever is furthest downstream to the bad guys is your only target, and suing them is probably the only option. Maybe just to get a C&D, maybe punitively just in hopes of getting them to clean up their act. A police report on its own will have zero effect: the police just don't care about IT crimes on this scale.

Sue them, and as part of it file a police report. Don't even bother with any other options at this point: they are not likely to work.

(Again, not a lawyer, just an IT professional).

Comment "Counterfeit detector pens" don't exist (Score 4, Informative) 160

cash can be checked for legitimacy with a counterfeit detector pen

"Counterfeit detector pens" don't exist. They're just iodine: they have no special detection properties whatsoever.

"Counterfeit pens are fairly accurate and save a lot of time, but they aren't foolproof. For instance, if the counterfeit is printed on paper with a low starch content, the pen won't detect it. If someone managed to steal a roll of unused currency paper and printed it themselves, the pen wouldn't detect it. If someone washed a $1 bill until the ink was gone and re-printed it as a $100 bill, the pen wouldn't detect it. All the pen really detects is whether the paper is made from wood pulp or an alternate, less starchy fiber."

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"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)