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Comment: I still don't get it... (Score 1) 60

by Somebody Is Using My (#47556681) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

The article says:

"This raised his total holdings to 1,371 shares, which fell just slightly below half (49.6%) of outstanding TSR shares, then numbering 2,761. But the 40 shares owned by Gygax’s son Ernie, when combined with his father’s holdings, secured controlling interest (51.1%) in TSR.

Then there is a bit about the Blume family wanting to sell their shares, Gygax not biting, and Williams et al. purchasing them instead. This suddenly gives them a greater controlling interest in the corporation.

But if Gygax already controlled 51.1%, it doesn't matter how many shares they buy; unless Gygax sold some of his own, they should never have more than 48.9% and thus never have been in a position to oust him.

So this article - and corporate finance - just makes me even more confused.

Comment: Re:But it wasn't for "national security" (Score 3, Interesting) 353

Except in the UK, you do not have the right to remain silent, or at least, you can remain silent but that may work against you in court.

Wikipedia explains,

"The right to silence was amended in 1984 by allowing adverse inferences to be drawn at a court hearing in cases where a suspect refuses to explain something, and then later produces an explanation. In other words the jury is entitled to infer that the accused fabricated the explanation at a later date, as he refused to provide the explanation during police questioning."

Furthermore, this is nothing new to the UK; there is precedent for being arrested for not providing your password to the police when requested, and the courts supported the action.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 3, Interesting) 468

I'm actually less worried about the view-screen failing than most are; given how robust the systems on these planes are, it is unlikely that is going to be a significant problem. If it gets to the point where the viewscreen itself no longer works, the pilots probably will probably have other much more important problems to deal with, like catastrophic hull damage or engine failure (having said that, I'm all for the addition of a periscope or small viewport that can be used in emergencies).

What does concern me is the image that is going to be projected onto these screens. It is going to be a mixed feed of camera images and sensors into one panoramic display. This raises flags for two reasons. First, cameras have fixed viewing angles, and windows do not. A pilot can lean a bit to the side while looking out a window to see just slightly more to the left or right; he won't be able to do so with a fixed TV image. Secondly, having worked with how computers merge panoramic images, I wonder how much lag there will be between the time the camera SEES its image and the time it actually is displayed on the screen; even a tenth of a second delay could be dangerous. I also wonder what information will be culled because the programs cannot make a seamless match between the different camera images otherwise. Programs that merge images can make some stupid assumptions sometimes and a detail at the border between two or more images is sometimes lost due to the algorithm.

A better initial use for this technology than completely replacing the cockpit windows, I think, would be to replace the PASSENGER windows. Those are far less critical to the plane. Giving each PASSENGER a small OLED screen in place of a window would greatly increase structural integrity and decrease fuel use while also allowing the technology to better mature before replacing the much more important viewports in the cockpit.

Comment: Re:Minor inconvenience (Score 4, Interesting) 346

by Somebody Is Using My (#47375995) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

As disturbing is that the threat of "reputational damage" is enough to get a court on your side.

The United States government should not be helping people or business protect their reputation from their own mistakes. It opens a floodgate to potential abuses. This request should have been laughed out of court. "You screwed up, bub; you deal with the consequences."

I can see this ruling being used as a precedent in many future law cases.

Comment: Re:Well, fuck you very much (Score 1) 495

by Somebody Is Using My (#47359427) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

Well, I was lost -- that was everything. ... and that was all because of this horseshit? Guess what... I'm not even *in* the US, so now the US courts think they have jurisdiction over countries? (OK, that's not new)

While I do not agree with the ruling, the comment above is ridiculous. Vitalwerks LLC is an American company, hosted in Reno, Nevada. The US Courts have 100% jurisdiction over it. Just because it does business with international customers in no way makes it exempt from US law.

There are a lot of things to complain about with the United States government overreaching its authority in areas where it should not. This is not one of them.

Comment: Re:Weather is NOT climate (Score 1) 567

The thing is, our civilization has grown based on the climate and ecology we currently have (maybe a little cooler). It is likely the Earth has been warmer before, but if it starts reaching those heights again it is going to cause significant problems for our technological society, especially in the transitional period when weather patterns are disrupted by changing energy levels in the atmosphere. If it gets warmer, large areas may be flooded and ecologies and farming may be affected as well. Empires have collapsed for less, and the loss in human life would be huge.

It is in our interest to minimize our impact on the environment. Even if the overall trend to a warmer climate is natural, our actions - redirecting rivers, chopping down entire forests, pumping megatons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere - are having a definitive effect on the climate. Even if humanity alone isn't responsible, it may be our actions are "the straw that breaks the camel's back", tilting the balance irrevocably towards a less hospitable climate. We might not be able to halt the warming process, but we have the ability to minimize our impact on the climate and hopefully the climate's impact on us.

We have the ability and technology. We just lack the will.

Comment: Re:Weather is NOT climate (Score 4, Informative) 567

But apparently you assholes don't care about what you are going to eat while your permafrost thaws.

Oh, they needn't worry about that. When the permafrost thaws, all the sequestered CO2 and methane frozen in the ice and soil is going to release in giant poisonous bubbles and asphyxiate them all. You don't need to eat when aren't even breathing.

(I can't find a link to the article I read that melting permafrost could release its CO2 explosively, poisoning large areas, but here's a link about how much gas is stuck in the ground up north. So even if you don't accept the theory that melting permafrost could result in asphyxiation, it is still something we'd want to avoid)

Comment: Re:sensors (Score 2) 196

by Somebody Is Using My (#47343207) Attached to: How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

Not to mention Apple earphones are also the most fragile. That narrow-gauge white wire may look thin and stylish, but the tiniest of crimps can degrade the sound, and they break very easily. The $10 earphones I use have better sound (not great, but I'm usually listening on the go, and ambient sounds drown out a lot of the harmonics anyway) and don't break after a week's use. It is Apple once again putting form over function.

Comment: Re:Amazon should know better (Score 3, Insightful) 199

by Somebody Is Using My (#47311217) Attached to: FAA Bans Delivering Packages With Drones

First off, that's the declaration of independence... second, yes, Life is part of that.

Third - and sadly, most forgotten - the Constitution (nor the Declaration of Independence, nor any other documents our government is founded on) does not delineate what our rights are. It states where those "unalienable rights" may be abrogated for the formation of a "more perfect union".

In other words, it is not the Constitution or the government that it founds that gives us the right to free speech, or freedom of religion, or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or any of those. Our freedom is part and parcel of the human condition. The philosophy espoused by the US Constitution is that we voluntarily sacrifice some of these rights - giving our government the power to suspend some of those natural rights - in order to maintain order.

Why is this important? What is the difference between this philosophy and one where our rights are granted to us by the government? Because the latter puts the power squarely in the hands of the government and it is by their goodwill alone we are allowed our freedoms; the former insists that power remains with the people and it is only by their consent we are governed. It may only be a philisophical distinction but it is an important one and should not be glossed over.

So whenever somebody says "the Constitution does not give us that right", please remind them that is neither in its purpose nor its purview. Just because it is not mentioned does not mean we do not have that freedom; in fact the Tenth Amendment even goes so far as to remind us of this fact.

Comment: A scene from the IRS offices (Score 3, Funny) 465

by Somebody Is Using My (#47259957) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

wow, the IRS thing is awesomely ridiculous. All the people under investigation have had computer crashes that prevent their emails from being delivered to the prosecutors. What are the odds?

I can see it now...

Prosecutor: "Give us the emails for Lerner!"
IRS: "Uh, sorry, computer crashed, lost his data".
P: "Really? Well, umm...I guess that is possible. How about chief-of-staff Flax? I need his emails too"
I: "Computer crashed; what a coincidence. We lost his data too."
P: "Hmm, well I got four more suspects..."
I: "Yeah, uh, let me see that list. Okay, computer crashed, computer crashed, computer caught fire, exploded, THEN crashed and... oh, you're in luck with the last one!"
P: "Are you telling me it didn't crash?"
I: "No, isn't that great? Too bad the computer was accidentally was destroyed in a bizarre pet hippopotamus incident. But don't worry, hippos are now banned from all IRS offices."

Comment: Re:Delegation of vetting (Score 2) 89

by Somebody Is Using My (#47258541) Attached to: Nokia Extorted For Millions Over Stolen Encryption Keys

I disagree. I do not think this is a major consideration for most users. The idea of multiple software stores, some of which may or may not be trustworthy, is not high on the list when comparing phones.

Issues they do care about in general order of importance:
* Cost of the phone
* Provider support (e.g., will I be able to use this phone with my carrier)
* Features of the phone (does it have a keyboard, or a camera, and what does it look like)
* App support (can I download apps I am interested in?)

The fact is, most people have a rudimentary understanding of how the apps work and what risks they are taking when they download software from the internet. Nor are they aware of how powerful and versatile these pocket-computers really are. So long as they get their email, facebook, music, mapping, a few choice games, and perhaps the usual word-processing apps, most people are satisfied with the selection they get from the app store (there may be more to that list, but for the vast bulk of people, everything they need or want can be had from the official app stores). It doesn't occur to them that they are "locked-in" because they already get everything they need so they don't go looking for more. However, when they do feel the restrictions - when they discover that FlappyBirds or whatever fad-app isn't available on the app store, they are more than willing to visit alternative sites to get their software fix, regardless of the risk this to which this puts their data.

In other words, it is true that users usually do not care about being locked in to one application provider. But they also don't care that the official app-stores vet the software either and when push comes to shove they will readily accept software from any source. Once made aware of the issue, the multiple sources of apps is a selling point for Android, because it gives the users more selection. That it comes with significant risk to their privacy and data is rarely a consideration. When the garden wall gets in their way, they dislike it as much as power users without understanding the benefits it might bring.

Comment: Re:OCA (Score 4, Interesting) 184

Third-party voting fails only if you consider victory the only consideration. But it need not be so cut and dried.

Voting for a third-party is more than getting somebody else into office; it sends a message to the incumbent two parties. More than anything else, it says to them that their constituents are dissatisfied with their policies and are looking for alternatives. It is a warning that their position is directly in threat and that it is necessary for them to become more reactive to the the desires of the voters.

In any election, it is unlikely that a third-party candidate will win - but not impossible. Democrats and Republicans are well aware of this. If enough people start voting for third-parties, they will change their policies to better reflect the attitudes and wants of their constituents. A rise of a third-party terrifies them and they will change to prevent it.

Your third-party candidate may not win, but if his policies are taken up by the primary parties anyway, it is still an effective win for the electorate.

So if your conscience dictates it, vote third-party. It is one of the major ways we as voters can indicate our dissatisfaction with the current regime - and one of the few ways to which they actually listen - and is most definitely /not/ a wasted vote.

Comment: Re:... nobody is talking about the privacy violati (Score 1) 304

The US was no less wrong with insisting they had jurisdiction over Kim Dotcom. That in no way excuses what Iran is doing.

But that is besides the point. The OP was asking why nobody was discussing the alleged privacy violations. This is because - although there is no defending Facebook's actions - it is widely recognized that it would be a pointless discussion; the judge (and the Iranian government in general) is not interested in discussion about those issues but rather is merely engaging in a diatribe against the United States and the Jews, using Zuckerberg as its red flag.

Comment: Re:... nobody is talking about the privacy violati (Score 1) 304

While I have no love for Facebook -or Zuckerberg - and its invasive policies, I have to wonder if Iran has any jurisdiction over Facebook anyway?

Does Facebook run any servers in Iran? Do they have any offices in Iran? Do they actively seek to bypass attempts by the Iranian government to block its citizens from accessing Facebook? And, if so, do they have any evidence that Zuckerberg himself is behind these heinous "crimes"?

The very fact that this judge is calling on Zuckerberg himself (and using inciteful language by calling him a "Zionist") rather than taking the Facebook.com to task reveals the true motivations of this summons. It has nothing to do with "privacy violations"; if Facebook.com's success was due to an awesome collection of cute kitty photos, the judge probably would have accused Zuckerberg of leading believers astray from the faith by distracting them with false idols or something.

There are many (many, many) problems with Facebook, Israel, the United States, etc. that need solving. However, the judge has no interest in opening discussion about these issues. This is just another obvious attempt by the Iranian political machine to inflame anti-American and anti-Semitic hatred.

Comment: Re:LOL ... (Score 3, Insightful) 212

by Somebody Is Using My (#47093337) Attached to: Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

You would get a lopsided view of the world if you base your opinions solely on the comments on some Internet forum.

Just like many of us would not commit a crime just because we feel it is wrong (and not in fear of any legal consequences), so many people do not make childish or rude comments just because it is on the Internet. As old the expression goes, "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything". Unfortunately, this imbalance can often make it seem as if the Internet is full of sad jerks whereas the truth is more likely that there is a vast unspoken majority lurking behind the scenes.

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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