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Comment: TruPhone (Score 1) 288

by chris098 (#41010221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: A Cheap US Cellphone Plan With an Unlocked Phone?
I use a provider called TruPhone. They are pre-paid and charge $0.15 per minute, and $0.15/MB for data in the USA. If you spend a lot of time talking on your phone or using data while you're out, this isn't the option for you. If you're within wifi 90% of your day, paired with google voice, it could be an option.

Comment: Re:Awesome (Score 5, Insightful) 242

by chris098 (#27883511) Attached to: Law of Armed Conflict To Apply To Cyberwar
The whole "illegal enemy combatant" thing is immoral regardless of whether the "attacks" are physical attacks or just attempts made to disrupt digital communications.

They do have a point though - communications infrastructure is very important both for the economic wellbeing of the country, and to allow other branches of the military to coordinate and defend the country.

There really shouldn't be any reason to not consider traditional armed responses to digital attacks. People can cause damage. A teenage hacker may not have the same violent intent as a suicide bomber or a rogue nation plotting a traditional war, but that doesn't stop them from doing something malicious with serious repercussions.

It sounds good in theory, but like the parent, I also look at our country's history of using good judgment in situations like this, and worry.

Comment: What a joke! (Score 1) 161

by chris098 (#27883397) Attached to: IBM "Invents" 40-Minute Meetings
Wow, I was originally going to criticize all the early commentators in this thread for not reading what was actually written in the patent application. But after reading it, I agree with all the jokes that were made here. The patent really just describes a user interface for specifying meeting lengths. I can't imagine that anyone at the USPTO actually read this. How embarassing.

Comment: Re:How far does free speech go? (Score 1) 780

by chris098 (#27834531) Attached to: Bill Would Declare Your Blog a Weapon
So it sounds like we agree that there are some things that don't fall under free speech - threats and conspiracies to commit crimes. I completely agree with that, and I think that this bill goes way too far (trying to "protect peoples feelings", as I said in reply to an earlier post). ...but that's how I see the world. Some people, such as an earlier poster, appear to think that all speech should be valid - even threats. Other people, such as the author of this bill, seem to think that things like name calling should be a crime.

Comment: Re:How far does free speech go? (Score 0) 780

by chris098 (#27834369) Attached to: Bill Would Declare Your Blog a Weapon
I think this bill goes too far by trying to "protect peoples feelings". In my opinion, that's an infringement on free speech. But I also don't think people should be able to say whatever they want without consequences. Like you point out, if you say you're going to commit a crime, that could be interpreted as evidence that you're going to commit that crime. ...but that's just my opinion.

As written, I think this bill infringes on "free speech". But I don't think people should be allowed to say anything they want without consequences. At some point, hate speech can be interpreted as a real threat, and people have the right to defend themselves against real threats.

Comment: How far does free speech go? (Score 1, Interesting) 780

by chris098 (#27834105) Attached to: Bill Would Declare Your Blog a Weapon
There's always a fine line where free speech "goes to far". I think this bill is trying to clarify that line by imposing penalties. The bill restricts itself to situations:

"with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person"

The common argument is that free speech should always be free, no matter what. This bill goes against that by trying to establish some limits on free speech.

...but should someone be allowed to say they want to kill all members of [group X]? If so, do members of [group X] have the right to take that threat seriously and act accordingly by pre-emptively defending themselves against the threat?

Comment: Re:Interesting possibilities... (Score 2, Insightful) 190

by chris098 (#27824983) Attached to: Apple Snags Former Xbox Exec
Yeah for sure, it's certainly not going to be equivalent to an xbox 360, or even a wii. ...but apple has proven that there's money to be made in very casual games that you may pick up for 20 minutes a day during a subway ride or while waiting at the dentist. People have shown that they're interested in being entertained in that casual sort of way.

It's definitely not as glamorous as a PS3, but they're a completely different market.

Comment: Interesting possibilities... (Score 4, Insightful) 190

by chris098 (#27824487) Attached to: Apple Snags Former Xbox Exec
I can see some potential here. The iPhone as a gaming platform has been proven in the market already. There are a number of small developers selling games for the iPhone. Probably not because the iPhone is a great platform, but because people are willing to pay small amounts to amuse themselves while they're on the subway or waiting somewhere, and they happen to have their iPhone on them. It's like a Nintendo DS that's smaller and you always have with you - it's a convenience thing. Game developers realized this, and the apple store made it easy to distribute products. A small bit of attention to make the device more game-friendly could make it even more attractive for developers to target this platform.

Comment: Some people will always be stuck... (Score 1) 397

by chris098 (#27822683) Attached to: The Biggest Cults In Tech
I think this line is especially fitting: "The Commodore 8-bit crowd is the computer world's analogy to old-time Volkswagen bug fanciers in the car world..." Just because a technology or a product is outdated, it doesn't mean that people won't fancy it for one reason or another. A Commodore certainly isn't the most powerful computer out there anymore, but people probably still like it for the same reason they like the old-time Volkswagen beetles - it reminds them of their youth, a time when things were better than they are now, or perhaps they just haven't bothered to move on and see new things the world can offer.

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