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Walmart Stores Get CCTV-Enabled, Breathalyzin' Wine Vending Machines 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the work-around dept.
Select Pennsylvania Walmarts have found a way to work around the law prohibiting alcohol sales in grocery stores. It turns out the shortsighted legislature forgot to make it illegal to sell wine from a vending machine: "as long as the user is asked to take a breathalyzer test, swipe their state issued ID or Driver License, and then show their mug to a state official sitting somewhere in Harrisburg, who is keeping an eye on the proceedings via CCTV." I'm surprised nobody thought of this sooner.
Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-the-first-m-out-of-mmorpg dept.
Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

+ - ISPs Oversubscribe Bandwidth, Blame Users->

Submitted by blair1q
blair1q (305137) writes "Belgian ISP Telenet recently offered a rare picture of the individual subscribers on its network who download the most data. The company offers several tiers of service, with bandwidth caps up to 100 Mbps, and monthly consumption caps on the lower tiers. But if an upper tier is deemed to be hogging the network, the ISP will throttle their multi-megabit service down to 512 Kbps. Which forces the question: If it's possible for someone to use up all the bandwidth and interfere with other users' service, why did you organize it that way, Telenet? Why not sign up only the number of subscribers you can support even if one or more are running their pipes at full rate? Or is it that you oversubscribe your bandwidth to make more money, and then blame the users for using the service they bought from you? And why punish them for the rest of the month, instead of apportioning bandwidth while multiple high-volume users are online? Is it their fault for paying you to get the bandwidth they need, or yours for charging them for bandwidth they will never get?"
Link to Original Source
Government

$2,000 Bribe Bought Password To DC P.O. System 187

Posted by timothy
from the but-what-harm-could-that-do? dept.
theodp writes "While the Administration is counting on new Federal CIO Vivek Kundra to simplify and speed the federal IT procurement process, it's doubtful he'll be able to reduce red tape to the extent that a former minion of his did at the scandal-rocked D.C. Office of the CTO. Exhibiting some truly out-of-the-box thinking, project manager Tawanna Sellmon not only processed phony invoices for the contractor at the center of the D.C. bribery and kickback scandal, she also gave him the password to the city's computerized database used to track purchase orders. Sellmon pleaded guilty last week for her role in the scam, which netted her an envelope containing $2,000 in cash, as well as an undisclosed number of $25-$100 gift cards."
Businesses

+ - SPAM: Humans lose $21 billion to computer traders

Submitted by
destinyland
destinyland writes ""We are just mice dancing" between the supercomputers of Wall Street giants, complains one trading executive, and an investment manager notes computers are making 73% of all stock trades on U.S. exchanges. One former NYSE chairman admitted "This is where all the money is getting made." (Between April and June, Goldman Sachs earned $100 million in one day — on 46 different days.) High-speed algorithms use 30-millisecond trades to probe market conditions, and can buy and sell with a nearly omniscient knowledge of every other investor's price point. The New York Times notes that already these algorithms "execute millions of orders a second and scan dozens of public and private marketplaces simultaneously...""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Too much Mountain Dew? (Score 1) 44

by Silmandil Quirpon (#27880059) Attached to: The Ultimate "Doll House" For WoW Players
So, I think you have underestimated the quality of MIT PhDs. From the designer's website: http://web.media.mit.edu/~cati/wowpod.html

Overall, this work ties into my research at the MIT Media Laboratory, Tangible Media Group, specializing in the design of hybrid physical/digital objects for play, performance and psycho-physiotherapy. I create tactile interfaces to shift the body boundaries, exploring technology mediated "holding" (from grabbing, to hugging, to being secured) as a lever to personal growth.

The Almighty Buck

GoDaddy VP Caught Bidding Against Customers 222

Posted by timothy
from the strong-accusations-so-consider-the-source dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions. The employee Adam Dicker isn't just any GoDaddy employee; he's head of the GoDaddy subsidiary that controls the auctions. Dicker won some of the domains he bid for, and pushed up the bid price on auctions he didn't win. The conflict of interest is unethical, but could this practice also be illegal? Said a representative for a competitor, 'Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it.' This comes hot on the heels of news that despite earlier promises to ICANN to end their 60-Day ban on transfers, GoDaddy quietly circumvented it by forcing customers to agree to the ban anyway. ICANN doesn't appear to be investigating or asking follow-up questions about this. What can be done to force ICANN to police the registrars for which it is responsible?"

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