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Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

Theoretically, it is possible to install a speed camera that measures speed very accurately. That does not mean that the speed cameras that are currently being installed are accurate.

I've received a ticket from a photo radar van that miscalculated my speed. If these systems continue to be installed everywhere, eventually you will too.

Comment Why the Ads? (Score 1) 203

The thing that seems extremely strange to me about the website is the sheer number of ads. And I don't mean ads for products that Walmart sells, I mean they're selling ad space for companies like Avis and Equifax through AdChoices. The result of this, for me at least, is that their site runs incredibly slow.

I invite people to navigate to the site and take a look. What are they trying to do there? Is it that the team is expected to be financially self supported? I would not expect a company that is as large and successful as Walmart to be insisting on something that surely can't be bringing in much money while undercutting their future.

Comment Re:Simething simple you missed? (Score 3, Interesting) 212

I would also recommend looking at rsnapshot which is built on top of rsync.

I used to use a development system where the entire fire tree was mirrored at the top of every hour. Recovering old files was as simple as navigating to a different directory.

Personally, I like the rsync solution because it is filesystem agnostic. It also has been around for a long time; whatever you're trying to do, I can guarantee that someone was doing it with rsync 20 years ago.

Comment Re:Programming games for kids (Score 1) 527

Agentsheets (the subject of the article) is actually pretty good. The coding is almost completely drag n' drop and each of the agents processes its code in parallel. The result is I think more intuitive for a mind that is not trained in computer logic. Unfortunately the product is being produced by grad students which (at least in this case) means that it's overpriced and not terribly well coded. I kinda wish they had just sold the idea to Hasbro or something - it would be running on the iPad by now.

Comment Re:Isn't that just a network? (Score 3, Interesting) 258

This idea of a nationwide secure network has never made much sense to me. Creating a secure network in a small organization is pretty easy but creating one that links many public and private enterprises sounds like a disaster. Gaps will inevitably appear but worse it creates a real target for someone who wishes to create harm.

Comment Re:medicore (Score 1) 132

I'm glad you pointed this out, I hadn't even noticed. One thing I love about my G1 is the keyboard, with Connectbot I have a surprisingly usable remote terminal in the palm of my hand.

It's a shame that keyboards are viewed only in the context of sending text messages.

Submission + - Amateur radio in the backcountry? 1

bartle writes: I currently spend a lot of time hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Cell phone reception is very unreliable and I'm curious if carrying a small amateur radio would make any sense at all. I don't want to add too much weight to my pack so I'm uninterested in carrying a radio that weighs much more than a pound; from what I gather this would give me at best 5 to 10 watts of transmitting power. I have no idea if this is enough to be effective in a mountainous region, I'm hoping some experienced Slashdot hams could give me a clue.

I'm only interested in acquiring a radio and license if it is a lot more effective and reliable than the cell phone I already carry. Otherwise I'm probably better off just waiting for Globalstar to bring back their duplex service and buy a next generation SPOT messaging device. I know some Slashdotters will want to suggest a modern SPOT or Personal Locator Beacon; these are suitable for the worst kinds of emergency but I'll point out that reliable communication can help prevent small crises from becoming big ones.

I don't expect anyone to be able to answer this question spot on but I bet there are a few Slashdotters out there with experiences they can share. Are small, amateur radios effective in the field or are vehicle rigs really the only way to go? Or am I just best off waiting for satellite?

Comment Re:Heading this off--see link to juror (Score 4, Insightful) 418

Exactly. Quoting from this post on Slashdot:

As to these configuration backups, Mr. Childs kept these on a DVD he kept with him at all times. Furthermore, this DVD was encrypted and could only be decrypted using his laptop (as the encryption program required not only a password, but access to a specific file that existed on the laptop).

Can these actions be defended as anything other than job security? Unless someone has reason to think that BengalsUF is getting the story wrong, why is there so much popular defense for this guy?

Comment Re:Perhaps a buy one donate several model? (Score 2, Interesting) 413

A cat-hole is not always an option, depending on where you go and the season. The current expectation is that in these situations all hikers will pack their excrement out. I've observed that most people are fine with packing out trash but draw the line at feces. I think a lot of people would be fine with carrying in a little extra weight if they could minimize their interaction with their own stool.

Comment Re:Good but overrated (Score 1) 37

In general I agree with you. As a puzzle game it is outstanding but the story just leaves players dazed and confused. I've read some Blow interviews and various interpretations and the game, while very well thought out, simply does not intend to lead the player to a specific outcome. Blow used every literary device in the book but in the end couldn't make a single recognizable point.

It makes me sad that the final level has one of the most brilliant videogame twists I've ever seen but ultimately it leads nowhere. If only the game had solidly been about a man reconciling a lost relationship with no mention of the Manhattan Project.

The Military

Submission + - Robot Cannon Kills 9, Injures 14 ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: An auto-targeting, auto-reloading cannon goes out of control during a South African military drill — killing 9 soldiers, and wounding 14 more. Officials can't figure out whether to blame jammed hardware, software glitches... or the start of the robot uprising. One thing's for sure: it's not the first time robo-weapons have started acting dangerously odd.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - PC owners get Bioshock, draconian new DRM system (

igorthefiend writes: Kotaku ( and others ( =5527) are reporting that the PC version of Bioshock is loaded with new DRM from Securom which limits users to just two installs.

2K are saying that if users come up against the limit they should contact Securom — but Securom are referring people back to 2K according to NoFrag.

Where does this leave the doctrine of first sale? Is this ushering in a new era of restrictive protection on AAA titles?


Submission + - Developer of Reverse Directories Dead at 87 (

Pcol writes: "Reverse directories, listing residents sorted by address and phone number, are invaluable to detectives, debt collectors, telemarketers and anyone who needs to find someone. Although the first reverse directories were compiled in the 1780s by trudging door to door, recording the residents of every building on every block, what IBM sales representative Jack Cole did, starting in 1947, was to streamline the process, using punch cards to turn an ordinary telephone book into what today would be called a searchable database. Cole hired typists to keyboard the entire Dallas telephone book onto punch cards. Directories for other cities soon followed, with Mr. Cole drawing on census records, tax rolls and other data to supplement the information in the phone book. As cellular phones have become more popular, there has been debate about releasing cell phone numbers into public 411 and reverse number directories. Right now, cell phone numbers are not available in any reverse-number directories. However, several information companies provide reverse cell phone lookups that are obtained from utility resources, and are available online."

Submission + - Estonia's Cyber-war

bartle writes: "Slate is running an article on the brief but significant attack that Estonia suffered recently.

Since late April, the Web sites of various Estonian government entities, banks, and media outlets have been barraged with extraordinary amounts of Web traffic (100 times more than usual), making them very slow and even unusable. The Estonian government has identified as-yet-unknown rogue Russian hackers and the Kremlin as participants in these denial-of-service attacks. Russia has firmly denied these charges."

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.