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Comment: Notch beaten to the punch (Score 5, Insightful) 178

There are quite a few games already well on their way to completion that are generally similar to the publicized ideas for 0x10c:

Blockade Runner will feature "fully destructible, operational, crewable 'living' starships in a procedurally generated galaxy".
https://blockaderunnergame.com/home.aspx

Shores of Hazeron is a first-person 4X-style game featuring fully-customizable spacecraft, city building and management, exploration, trade, combat, and more. It's playable right now, though it's under heavy development.
http://hazeron.com/

... and then there's Star Citizen, of course; a cross between Freelancer and Wing Commander - but you'll need to wait a while.
http://robertsspaceindustries.com/

Comment: Re:Everyone's first answer is wrong (Score 1) 515

by StupidKatz (#37753438) Attached to: Are You Prepared For the Zombie Apocalypse?

Darth_brooks, your argument is ludicrous - to prove it, substitute the word "pants" for guns in your post to prove why people prepping for the zombie apocalypse shouldn't prioritize lower-body clothing.

Firearms are NOT magic wands. They are lead-dispensers and for the purposes they serve, there are no realistic alternatives. What else has the capability to turn your average grandmother into the combat peer of an ex-soldier?

Among generators, food stores, wells, and even many new appliances, firearms are usually cheaper by far, and thus easier to obtain sooner.

Granted, your point about someone with a box of ammo and a rifle as their sole zombie prep is going to end up in a world of hurt. It's about the whole picture - yet firearms do figure prominently into that picture.

Comment: Re:Problems... (Score 2) 377

by StupidKatz (#37009634) Attached to: Philly Answers Youth Flash Mobs With Curfew Enforcement

I've some problems with details in your post:

1. The "criminal element" isn't stripping any rights away. (Rights can't be taken away, either, only infringed upon; if they can be taken away, they're called privileges.) If anyone, it's law enforcement that is infringing upon rights. Now, if you were referring to law enforcement agents as criminals, then I stand corrected. :)

2. The crime problem in America is not due to a flaw in law enforcement, but due to the ignorance and laxness of the population in general. Through court cases such as Warren vs DC and Gonzales vs Castle Rock, the government has explicitly disavowed any responsibility for any particular person's wellbeing. Whose responsibility is it then? The individual's. After decades of work, laws are finally starting to reflect reality, particularly in places like Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming.

3. Yes, the parents have shirked responsibility. However, the enabler here is often government, in that through "free" housing, schooling, food, such irresponsible behavior is encouraged. All else being equal, whatever is taxed is discouraged, while whatever is subsidized becomes more commonplace. Aside from welfare in Section 8, another example of "bad parenting" that was only possible due to government subsidation was the Yearning for Zion Ranch, where many of the young mothers were receiving government money to make up for the shortfall the of the polygamous husbands. Take away the subsidation and the situation would largely go away all by itself.

Lastly, as pertains to the article, collective punishment is a slap in the face at best to any free person. If someone is found to have committed a crime, after due process is followed, PUNISH THAT PERSON.

Comment: Whoopty-do - let us leave Earth, then. (Score 1) 461

by StupidKatz (#36813860) Attached to: Earth's Population To Hit 7 Billion This Year

The US sent men to the moon in 1969. Six decades later, and the best we got from NASA was a fancy sewer pipe in space along with a now-discarded orbiter system.

Worried about overpopulating the Earth? For this reason, and many others, get the hell out of the way of individuals who want to figure out how to leave this ball of rock you're so worried about.

Comment: Location caching in Android (Score 1) 208

by StupidKatz (#35910128) Attached to: Police Using Apple iOS Tracking Data For Forensics

While I don't recall if the location-providing services are enabled by default in Android 2.2, there is a clear warning given when enabling them.

If the services are disabled by unchecking boxes in the appropriate config area for the phone, location data IS NOT stored. (Previously-cached info from when the services were enabled might remain.) Neither does the above configuration change require jailbreaking or rooting the device.

That's a far cry from an "always on, can't disable" feature.

Comment: Re:Still too vague and too poorly defined (Score 1) 705

by StupidKatz (#34654076) Attached to: Is Net Neutrality Really Needed?

it's an order of magnitude easier to replace a single politician with someone who'll vote for laws with teeth than it is to expect [the voluntary market forces to work]

In theory, I could agree with the above. In practice, the politicians in the US are bought and paid for, largely with corporate money. (How else does one explain the DMCA?) Laws on the books, with teeth or otherwise, are no guarantee against wrongdoing by companies - see the ongoing ForclosureGate crap as an example of fraud and felonies of all stripes, with nary a cop in sight.

To the extent that US commerce remains free and voluntary, customers made aware of undesirable business practices divert their business away from the company in question to one extent or another. Absent government-granted and enforced monopolies, competitors will spring up to capture the alienated customers' business.

History is replete with examples of government's failure to replace free markets with government control/regulation.

Comment: Re:Still too vague and too poorly defined (Score 0) 705

by StupidKatz (#34647934) Attached to: Is Net Neutrality Really Needed?

Actually, regulation does not do anything to prevent a company from putting melanine or floor sweepings in their products - such activities have occurred while government regulations were in place to prevent such things.

The behavior of participants within a free market will not prevent such happenings, either, but the resulting consequences can destroy such a company, through lawsuits to cover poisoned customers and loss of business from new and previous customers, and rightly so. As it currently stands, if a company is caught defrauding its customers, perhaps by poisoning its products, the government forces it to pay a small fine (relative to the costs of the gains made by the fraud) and recall existing poisoned product. That's no solution - that's viewed as a cost of business!

The biggest obstacle preventing such free market behavior is the government itself, at various levels, that grant and enforce monopolies that have no good reason to exist. This sort of meddling is becoming ever more prevalent, most recently with the passage of US Senate bill S-510 (and potentially its House counterpart) that raises the barrier for food production to such heights that only a small handful of mega companies can afford to meet them, thus in essence granting and enforcing yet another monopoly at the expense of a voluntary and free market.

Government still is the problem.

Comment: Mechwarrior Living Legends beat them to the punch (Score 3, Interesting) 90

by StupidKatz (#31726402) Attached to: <em>MechWarrior 4</em> Free Release Delayed By Microsoft

With the advent of the open beta of Mechwarrior Living Legends, the "official" games may well be eclipsed by a fan-made total conversion mod for Crysis/Crysis Warhead. MWLL features, among other cool things, combined arms: air, mechs, infantry, and tanks are all playable and useful on the battlefield.

Comment: Re:Be realistic and grow the ---- up (Score 1) 950

by StupidKatz (#24806677) Attached to: How Can Nerds Make a Difference In November?

I'd rather not reiterate what I've already posted.

Listed there is the primary failure of McCain to understand the First Amendment, and a critical fact or two which pretty much blows the whole "we really don't know what the Second Amendment means, really, honest!" misdirection out of the water.

Security

Griefers Assault Epileptics Via Message Board 621

Posted by kdawson
from the not-funny-mcgee dept.
An anonymous reader tips us to a story up at Wired reporting on what may be the first computer attack to inflict physical harm on victims. Last Saturday, griefers posted hundreds of bogus messages on the support forums of the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation that used JavaScript and strobing GIFs to trigger migraines and seizures in users. For about 3% of the 50 million epileptics worldwide, flashing lights and colors can trigger seizures. "'I don't fall over and convulse, but it hurts,' says [an IT worker in Ohio]. 'I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldn't move and couldn't speak.' ... Circumstantial evidence suggests the attack was the work of members of Anonymous, an informal collective of griefers best known for their recent war on the Church of Scientology. The first flurry of posts on the epilepsy forum referenced the site EBaumsWorld, which is much hated by Anonymous. And forum members claim they found a message board thread — since deleted — planning the attack at 7chan.org, a group stronghold."
The Media

Getting The Public To Listen To Good Science 419

Posted by kdawson
from the i'm-your-doctor-dammit dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "We all know that false or misleading science headlines are all too common these days and that misleading media combined with an apathetic and undereducated public lead to widespread ignorance. But the real question is, how can this trend be reversed? At a session at the recent AAAS meeting, a study was discussed indicating that what matters most is how the information is portrayed. While people are willing to defer to experts on matters of low concern, for things that affect them directly, such as breast cancer or childhood diseases, expertise only counts for as much as giving off a 'sense of honesty and openness,' and that it matters far less than creating a sense of empathy in deciding who people will listen to. In other words, it's not enough to merely report on it as an expert. You need to make sure your report exudes a sense of honesty, openness, empathy, and maybe even a hint of humor."
Censorship

Internet Censorship's First Death Sentence? 475

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-bit-harsh-i-think dept.
mrogers writes "A journalism student in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death by a Sharia court for downloading and sharing a report criticizing the treatment of women in some Islamic countries. The student was accused of blasphemy and tried without representation. According to Reporters Without Borders, sixty people are currently in jail worldwide for criticizing governments online, fifty of them in China, but this may be the first time someone has been sentenced to death for using the internet. Internet censorship is on the rise worldwide, according to The OpenNet Initiative."

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