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Comment Re:There goes another Swiss Army knife (Score 2, Insightful) 298

The TSA is a government jobs program. It employs over 55,000 people with little to no marketable skills or training. It's obvious to everyone that the TSA is a waste but its not going away because it would spike the unemployment rate and hurt our economic recovery.

Comment Electrical Safety (Score 1) 153

Google wants to put the fiber on the poles up on the top where the power lines are and are free to do so providing they use the appropriate cable shielding and grounding methods according to industry standards. If they go this route they need have their cable installed by journeyman linemen because they have the training and equipment needed to work around high voltage power lines safely. Google is complaining and wants to use their own workers instead because a journeyman lineman in Kansas City has an hourly rate of about $50/hr. The problem is that Google's workers dont have the training or equipment that the linemen do and will most likely electrocute themselves. Their other option is to use their own workers but move their cable down away from the power lines into the telephone / TV section of the pole but pay for the pole usage fees.

Comment Time (Score 1) 1880

I just dont have time to mess with it any more. I used to have time to search through hundreds of forum pages to find some gibberish string of text that I could cut and paste into it and hope that fixed the problem. Now, its just no longer worth it. I ran Ubuntu for a long time too, 6.06-11.04. The little things also just started to bug me. Like my mouse has more than 3 buttons but I have to jump through crazy hoops to do anything with them. My sound just stopped working one update and could never get it going again. Had to by a new sound card. The UI got all jacked up with what ever it is they are now doing with it. Spent a couple hours trying to get it to look halfway normal. It was a mess getting my printer to work with it even though I specifically bought a supported printer. That got me into wife-usability trouble.

I just decided that I am spending more time working ON it than with it. Finally Ubuntu's only competitive advantage came down to cost and a student discount copy of Win7 won. Its stable, wife friendly, works with everything, and runs everything I need. It just turned out that I am willing to pay a premium for a better experience.

Comment ESPN 360 (Score 1) 454

I think we are all going along under the assumption that we will have a choice and individuals are the target customers. I think this will materialize more like the ESPN 360 web content where your ISP subscribes for you. Since you don't really have a choice of ISP you will, by default, be paying for your Murdoch news.

Comment Recent Experience (Score 2, Informative) 268

My wife and I recently had a baby in Texas and found out about this. The blood sample is taken by pricking the babies heel 24 hours after birth and placing five drops of blood on a five panel card. The state of Texas requires that the samples be sent to a state lab and screened for congenital adrenal hyperplasia, congenital hypothyroidism, galactosemia, phenylketonuria, sickle-beta thalassemia, sickle-cell anemia, and sickle-hemoglobin C disease ( Luckily they give you a form you can fill out when you leave the hospital to request the state to destroy the sample after their screening. There seems to be some personal information attached to the sample so that the state can link it back to the hospital record should they detect something. They don't appear to be able to match the sample to a SSN# because that doesn't get issued to the baby until several weeks later. I made sure to fill out the form and mail it in but there doesn't seem to be any way to tell if they really destroyed the sample or not. By not filling out the sample destruction request form you give the state permission to do what ever they want with it but they are supposed to remove any identifying information if they give the sample to a third party.

Student Orchestra Performs Music With iPhones 65

A course at the University of Michigan ends with a live concert featuring students using iPhones as instruments. “Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble“ teaches students to code musical instruments for the iPhone, using the Apple-provided software-development kit. Georg Essl, assistant professor of computer science and music, says, "What’s interesting is we blend the whole process. We start from nothing. We teach the programming of iPhones for multimedia stuff, and then we teach students to build their own instruments.”

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Comment Re:Not the issue.... (Score 1) 757

I know lots of people that have used Windows all their life and switched to Apple and they seem to do fine with it compared to struggling with the switch to Linux. It's because Apple cares about the end user experience whereas most open source software is extremely unfriendly when it come to the user interface.

Comment Original Game (Score 1) 209

In the old RTS game there were neutral hero's that any race could acquire. I wish they would use their already existing reputation system and incorporate neutral races that could go to either faction through in game mechanisms or questing. They might even be able to finally use the language system into something fun. They could do the same thing as they did with the Death Knights and start them out at a higher level. I think that would be more in tune with the spirit of the original game than paying Blizzard a $15 indulgence for the Horde/Alliance to absolve your character slaughtering their faction for the past 80 levels.

Comment Re:Sure you can (Score 1) 105

This kind of technology, though not as polished is becoming available to the masses. Here is a good example -

Simple open source auto pilots are now available, low cost GPS systems are available, RC air components are readily available. The point is that even the simple systems that are currently available wouldn't need much tweaking for use in some sinister way.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun