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Comment Re:Permission from the owner (Score 1) 211

I agree that tracking stolen property shouldn't be problematic. But because of the way that the Stingrays work they should get a warrant for pretty much any use. These devices don't just single out a specific cell phone, they intercept everything and from there the operator picks one in particular to locate. They are essentially violating the privacy of innumerable innocent bystanders every time they turn one of these devices on.

Comment Re:The Wire (Score 1) 211

My wife was once pulled over by an officer because she didn't pull off on the shoulder of a narrow country road to let him pass, when he wasn't running lights or siren. Which is funny to me because when I was pursuing a career in law enforcement we were taught that you had to run lights if you wanted special treatment from other people, and even then it wasn't a legal right of way. If you got into an accident while running lights and siren, because you broke some traffic law, like running a stop sign, you were still at fault.

Comment Re:Happily married? (Score 1) 286

A truly non-punitive 50/50 split in divorce is like a mythical unicorn. People value things differently and so working out any arbitrary split isn't going to be viewed as fair by at least one party, and frequently both. Where I grew up there was a rich couple going through an unpleasant divorce. The husband sold all his wife's favorite race horses at fair market value to spite her. Despite the fact that she would get the money for the horses she couldn't necessarily use it to buy the horses back and comparable horses still wouldn't be the horses she wanted.

Most of us don't own horses but there are usually many assets which you would value for more than just their replacement cost. Your spouse is likely to have differing value assessments than yourself. This is a big part of what commonly makes divorce settlements so challenging, even when they are amicable. When things start to get ugly then fault starts getting passed around. If it goes far enough it'll end up in a court where judge decides whose at fault and who gets the, perceived, better deal.

Comment Re:WoW! really its taken this long to figure that (Score 1) 119

You can think of a MOBA as being a very short term RPG in an incredibly tiny and linear world. Your main opponents are other players, or computers controlling a bot, with some lower level chaff MOBs thrown in for you to level off of. You play as a small team against another team. There are usually three paths that connect your teams base to the enemy base. Each base sends out little PvE critters to wander down the connecting paths and attack enemy critters and structures. It is a stalemate without player intervention. Each player picks a character/class to play, which they then use to try and help their teams critters over power the enemy team. Character progression is accomplished by gaining experience for levels, and currency for upgrading gear, by doing the typical stuff you do in video games like killing, destroying, and capturing. Character progression is not retained between matches and so you start over every game. Matches can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours I believe.

In my experience, game play is almost as exciting as typing up this reply was. But apparently there are a ton of people out there that enjoy playing and watching others play this style of game, and I suppose that's good for video gaming in general.

Comment Re:MMO's (Score 1) 119

Or one of the emulated servers for SWG, pre-NGE of course.

I tried Eve for a few months once and decided the mechanics of it really just made it a tedious game to play. The whole security scheme is too easily exploited. The UI is built to facilitate scammers and apparently kept that way deliberately. One of the more critical elements of the ui is impossibly screwy to try and adjust, meaning you can never be sure if it's actually displaying what you think it is. It's a sandbox without much in the way of space to build, which is funny because it is filled with empty space by and large. Suicide ganking is a profitable strategy and the game has had design changes specifically to enable it. I suppose it does have a lot of features compared to other MMO's but it also has far more grind and tedium, with developer that seem keen on making it more unpleasant.

Comment Re:Really? Don't think so. (Score 1) 119

That was very likely the case early on with WoW. But once you got past the first expansion I'm pretty sure WoW had more subscriptions than all previous MMO's historically had combined. WoW ended up being the first MMO for a very large segment of it's player base I would wager.

I think that most people would identify themselves as a fan of a specific genre before all others. But that Genre is likely to change on a regular basis for most people. Some people do seem to always play the same genre games and rarely venture out of it. But most gamers that I know would change that favorite genre whenever their latest game of choice switches.

Personally I would say that in the last half dozen years my favorite genre has been sandboxes. I've played a lot of Minecraft, Terraria, and 7DtD, which are all sandboxes in the strictest sense. I also played a lot of Skyrim which isn't exactly a sandbox but is very open world. Before all that though I played WoW, and that alone, for several years. I played SWG and EQ before WoW came along. And I had some bouts with Diablo 2 as well. I play other games here and there as I'm drawn to them, D3 gets my attention for awhile after every major patch, and I actually completed the Shadowrun game. I expect in a few years though I'll have moved on to some other genre and claim that as my favorite for the time being.

Comment Re:i'm waiting for actual enforcement of 2nd amend (Score 1) 685

I am not opposed to having to take some safety courses and pass basic proficiency tests for gun ownership.

However the sentence structure of the 2nd Amendment could be interpreted as saying that in order to have a well trained and equipped militia, the citizenry must be able to have arms. If you don't have a weapon it is difficult to become proficient with it, chicken and egg problem. This is kind of like how major sports leagues promote their sport starting in grade school, so that they'll have a ready supply of talented players to draw from.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 1) 751

I think you pretty much have to continue subsidizing children to some extent unless we simultaneously open the borders for immigration again. Rapid swings in population growth, in either direction, are detrimental to society and our economy. Obviously subsidizing them too heavily would result in a swing in the up direction, and under subsidizing would go the other way.

I wholeheartedly agree with not rationing the funds for specific purposes. I gave the values in the way I did so I could think it through as I went and see how it could fit into a persons budget.

Comment Re:A country sized face palm event. (Score 1) 751

From my understanding one of the biggest reasons the USSR failed was that it essentially decided that it had to be a super power and try to out compete the USA in everything. The USA just proved to be capable of maintaining a higher level of spending for longer. So I wonder if in an alternate version of history if the USSR could have actually thrived if they hadn't wasted so many resources on the cold war, and of course where would the USA be today if it had done the same.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 1) 751

My one problem I see with Minincome is how do we decide what the figure should be, and would we let it vary by location?

I've seen people bandying about numbers that sound very high to me, like $20K. I think it'd be much more sane to start with $100 to $150 per month for food and sundries, and $250 to $350 a month for housing and utilities, per adult. Maybe throw in an annual $200 stipend for clothing. We aren't talking lap of luxury here, or even particularly comfortable. This is intended as supporting survival, and still providing motivation to work for more. To get by on that kind of stipend you'd definitely have to live with roommates and prepare your own meals but it'd be livable. The cost would be between $4400 and $6200 per adult a year.

Keep in mind that in 2010 the US Fed and State governments spent about $2990 per person through various welfare programs, excluding Social Security and Medicare. So the additional cost could be sizable but not the gigantic leap in spending that some might think. And I would expect that the rates for children would be lower than for adults seeing as how they require less food most of the time and less living space.

Comment Re:Of course. (Score 1) 350

That's what I was thinking as well, on the cost front. I built my current PC a few years ago and periodically I have checked to see if I can get another couple sticks of the RAM I'm using. And so far I've never found it cheaper, and in fact yesterday it was 20% more than it was when I bought it.

I've only very recently started having memory issues, using only 8GB. I've been hosting a dedicated server for an alpha game, running a client of the same game, and of course running sundry other applications like Firefox.

The memory usage of Firefox really confounds me. It's just a web browser. Most of the time I have less than half a dozen tabs open, only one of which is a social or streaming site. Most web pages should be pretty light on the memory footprint, and even the streaming ones should only have a few minutes of video buffered at a time anyways.

Comment Re:No surprise (Score 1) 134

There is the real downside of the cost of a good e-reader. Many people use their smart phones but I know that wouldn't work for me. I much prefer my paperwhite with it's e-ink display. But that is an extra cost and not necessarily a trivial one. So I can see how a fan might be disgruntled if an author they followed published a new book that wasn't available in the format they liked and reading it would mean investing in new hardware.

Comment Re:eBooks strongly prefered... (Score 1) 134

I leave my Paperwhite in my car. When I go on lunch break I always take it into the restaurant with me and read while I eat. I find it a very enjoyable way to push all the work related crap out of my head for an hour. It's also very handy for travel. Given it's boring nature, according to the kids, I don't get harassed into letting others use it and the battery lasts forever.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.