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Comment: GigaPower isn't Gigabit Bandwidth (Score 2) 258

by astapleton (#46958193) Attached to: The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

One small detail to add to AT&T side of the story - their GigaPower package is only a name - THAT offering tops out at 300Mbps, and this is true for every city it's available in. Not only that, no one has a clue if they'll every make 1,000Gbps service available in any market.

Sorry AT&T, calling it a trout a whale does not make it a whale no matter how big you blow up the picture you took of the trout.

Comment: Medical Treatment and Confidentiality (Score 3, Interesting) 455

Hmmm, let's see...if I'm being treated for a condition, any condition not involving an illegal act, and someone walks into my doctor's office and says "Give me Example Guy's current medical records", the first words out of my doctor's mouth will be "Show me your warrant or get out of my office."

So if the doctor prescribes medication to treat my medical condition, that comes under doctor-patient confidentiality. The ONLY people I have to share that information with are the pharmacy tech and pharmacy manager who do not share that information with anyone else outside that doctor's office.

So why do authority and police organizations think it's okay to grab my records at a whim because I'm taking, say, Ritalin to treat severe ADHD? They have no business or right to be pawing through peoples' records looking for criminals unless they serve a warrant to every physician involved. There is no condition under which legally prescribed medication falls outside of those parameters unless the patient himself gives said organization written authorization gained in a legal manner to search their own records.

So take your 'public disclosure' bull and stick it up your backside along with badge, Mr. Policeman. The rules apply to EVERYONE, not just the people who don't own their very own cheap tin badges.

Comment: Competition, What a Horrible Concept (Score 1) 284

I'd say I feel sorry for professors who feel threatened by the online education courses, but only because I feel sorry for anyone who refuses to find a better solution that to file for IP rights for their teaching material and processes. That's just going to create yet another money-making outlet for patent trolls and their lawyers. Everyone loses that game except the lawyers.

Build a better business model and get with the program, sirs and ma'ams.

Comment: Best Analogy Yet (Score 1) 197

by astapleton (#41115569) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Explaining Role-Playing Games To the Uninitiated?

Playing an RPG is like acting a part in a free-form play where you have a self-developed character appropriate to the environment who acts or reacts to an ever-changing environment controlled by the director (GM). Anyone who has ever caught the drama bug will definitely get it, and it will give non-gamers a more familiar theme to base their views on.

Lots of people don't get it, the same reason why I don't get why organized sports are fun. I understand why others like football or basketball, I just don't have any real feel for it. And you don't have to dump any kind of a relationship just because they don't get it unless they're being antagonistic about it.

Comment: John Christopher's Tripods Trilogy (Score 1) 726

by astapleton (#40391371) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

John Christopher's The White Mountains" (1967), "The City of Gold and Lead" (1967), "The Pool of Fire - One of my first, and favorite, children's sci-fi trilogy. The books are a good read for a 3rd grader. It's a bit difficult to find, but well worth it. I believe there was even a mini-series production of it years back called "The Tripods".

Comment: Re: BP blowout and requirements to prevent it (Score 1) 311

by astapleton (#32644370) Attached to: Why Being Wrong Makes Humans So Smart

Your description of the process mirrors that of contract companies hired to build nuclear reactor sites. They have to adhere to strict measurements every step of the way when putting together a secure building designed to handle radioactive materials and energy production. It's okay to fudge a few inches on that 2x4 or a few inches on a concrete pour when it comes to building a house, but you CAN'T fudge even half an inch on the framework of a reactor shell or it could easily kill everthing within miles of a leak. Builders are held to very high standards based on that.

Image

Woman Tells State Judiciary Committee, "DoD Implanted A Microchip Inside Me" 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the out-of-the-woodwork dept.
The Georgia House Judiciary Committee took up a bill that would "prohibit requiring a person to be implanted with a microchip," and would make violating the ban a misdemeanor. Things started to get weird at the hearing when a woman who described herself as a resident of DeKalb County told the committee, "I'm also one of the people in Georgia who has a microchip." Not sure of what she was trying to say, she was allowed to continue and added, "Microchips are like little beepers. Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission." Further prodding revealed that the woman's co-workers would torture her by activating the chips with their cell phones and that the chips were implanted by "researchers with the federal government." The committee thanked the woman for her input, and later approved the bill.
Image

New Speed Cameras Catch You From Space 351

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-place-to-run-or-speed dept.
A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The "Speedspike" system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: "Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled 'number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.' It also referred to the system's 'low cost' and ease of installation." I can't wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.
First Person Shooters (Games)

An Early Look At Next-Gen Shooter Bodycount 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the piece-by-piece dept.
If you ask fans of first-person shooters what feature they'd like to see in a new game, their answers — now and for the past 15 years — probably involve destructible environments. Game developers have tried to satisfy this demand with scripted events, breakable objects, and more crates than you can shake a rocket launcher at. However, Bodycount, an upcoming game from Codemasters Guildford, is aiming to deliver what gamers have wanted for so long: the ability to blast apart whatever you please. Quoting the Guardian's games blog from their hands-on with the game: "... it's not just about effect, it's about access. In Bodycount, you can blow chunks out of thinner interior walls, allowing you to burst through and catch enemies by surprise. You can also brilliantly modify cover objects – if you're hiding behind a crate and want to take out enemies without popping up from behind it, shoot a hole in it. Bingo, you've got a comparatively safe firing vantage. The difference between this and say, Red Faction or Bad Company, is that the destruction isn't limited to pre-set building sections. It's everywhere. This should, of course, grind the processor to a halt, but the team has come up with a simple compromise to facilitate its vision. 'The trick is that we're not running full physics on everything,' explains lead coder, Jon Creighton. ... This is tied in with one of the best cover systems I've ever seen. While in a crouching position (gained by holding the left trigger down), you can use the left analogue stick to subtly look and aim around your cover object, ducking and peeking to gain that perfect view of the war zone. It's natural, it's comfortable and it's adaptive, and it will surely consign the whole 'locking on' mechanic to the graveyard of cover system history."
Image

George Washington Racks Up 220 Years of Late Fees At Library 146

Posted by samzenpus
from the at-least-he-read dept.
Everyone knows that George Washington couldn't tell a lie. What you probably didn't know is that he couldn't return a library book on time. From the article: "New York City's oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the president has racked up 220 years' worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned. One of the books was the 'Law of Nations,' which deals with international relations. The other was a volume of debates from Britain's House of Commons. Both books were due on Nov. 2, 1789."
Government

South Korea Announces Daily MMO Blackouts For Youths 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-just-making-more-time-for-starcraft dept.
eldavojohn writes "GamePolitics reports that South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has announced two new policies that will force underage gamers to pick a six-hour block of time (midnight-6 AM,1-7 AM, or 2-8 AM) where they will not be able to play 19 online role-playing games. While it targets most popular MMORPGs, some popular games like Lineage were left off the list."
Earth

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

Posted by timothy
from the undra-the-tundra dept.
lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."
Censorship

+ - Digg losing control of their site

Submitted by Fo0eY
Fo0eY (546716) writes "The folks at Digg.com have let the social news genie out of the bottle, and now they can't control it. Since the HD-DVD encryption code was discovered and published, readers at Digg have been repeatedly submitting stories with the 16 digit hex code in the titles and bodies. Just as quickly as these posts crawl up the Digg charts, admins seem to be deleting them."

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.

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