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Comment: Re:Let's not leap to conclusions. (Score 1) 1079

by crackpot (#30409902) Attached to: Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing

Right on target and I couldn't agree more. I can't count how many times I've crossed the border having had to endure the clearly condescending "how are you sir?"; "please exit the vehicle sir"; "what is your business in the U.S. sir?"; "please open the trunk sir"; "you may return to your vehicle sir", "blah, blah, blah, blah" all the time knowing that these untrained armed goons purportedly there to "protect the border" are all really nothing more than sociopathic power freaks.

This is a clear indication of the decline of western society. We all know that it's our god given right to be rude, uncooperative, beligerent and generally unsocial towards "authority" without having to concern ourselves with the consequences of our actions. These guards are probably all redneck dog-beaters anyway that deserve whatever unholy hell Watts' attorney can dish.

We all know the same applies to all social activists, librarians, transit workers and tech support personnel...

Medicine

Are Women Getting More Beautiful? 834

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the or-are-you-just-less-picky dept.
FelxH writes "Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern." I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!
Portables

+ - big ram laptops? (beyond 4gb)

Submitted by Fubari
Fubari (196373) writes "Anybody know when laptops over 4gb might be coming out? Some of the devtools I want to run are just obscene ram-pigs. On the desktop I'm using now (win2003), it sucks up 1.6gb just to boot. By the time I log in and start doing work, it is stretching 2gb.

Move that to vista, add a vm-ware session or two, and I'm worried I'll be pushing 4gb.

I'm torn between buying a 4gb-max laptop now, or some mini-desktop that can fit in a set of luggage wheels. A friend of mine suggested something like this, but my first choice would be something designed to be portable."
Privacy

+ - SWIFT applies for Safe Harbor Protections

Submitted by KDR_11k
KDR_11k (778916) writes "The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT, the system used for all international bank transfers) is now applying for Safe Harbor protections in the US following a dispute with the EU over handing data to US authorities (of course with subpoenas). EU data protection laws don't allow giving peronal information to other entities without the consent of the person the information is about which already caused the dispute over handing passenger data to US authorities. SWIFT hopes that with these Safe Harbor protections they will no longer be forced to give up information they aren't allowed to but Safe Harbor does not apply to banking organizations. Now it depends on whether SWIFT is a banking institution (they claim they aren't) and whether they are a data processor or controller (they claim the former, apparently data protection laws only apply to the latter).

The EU's proposed solution is that SWIFT should abandon its US data center to bring its data out of range of US officials."
XBox (Games)

+ - Xbox Live Marketplace Digital Rights MISManagement

Submitted by
Divalent
Divalent writes "For over fourteen months, Microsoft has been aware of a problem that is presented to a user if they attempt to play an XBL arcade game or a game with premium paid downloadable content on any other machine than the one it was originally downloaded on. (See forum thread begun on 12/18/05)

MS has not come forward and publicly acknowledged the problem. Their representatives on the forums have even gone so far as to say, despite it's frank illegality, that those that had consoles stolen or replaced, in or out of warranty, from retailers will not have the workaround solution applied to their accounts unless they have explicit proof of said replacement. This means if your box breaks out of warranty, you cannot simply trash it and head to a store and buy a new one. You must somehow show continuity and PROVE to Microsoft that your old box is broken and has been replaced by the one you say it has been replaced by. Whatever happened to content being tied to your Gamertag, an ID that is uncopy-able and can only be logged onto one console at any one time? Where was the mention prior to launch of tying content to Gamertag AND the first console used to download the content before launch? That little detail wasn't even brought up until the Fall Update in October '06.

Currently there is a group of users who have had enough of this mismanagement of the growing segment of users with this problem. It is felt that Microsoft has its choice of a myriad of solutions such as Apples (de)authorizing protocol for iTunes. You can get a synopsis of the problem at Parallax Abstraction's blog on the matter here along with his recommendations of what to do. Included in the suggestions, whether you've personally been effected by the problem or not, is the urging to sign a petition that asks Microsoft to change the Digital Rights (Mis)Managment scheme currently in place."
It's funny.  Laugh.

XP On 8-MHz Pentium With 20 MB RAM 410

Posted by kdawson
from the golden-hourglass dept.
swehack writes "The guys over at winhistory.de managed to get their Windows XP Professional running on a very minimal box: an Intel Pentium clocked down to 8 MHz with 20 MB of RAM. (The installer won't work with less than 64 MB, but after installing you can remove memory.) The link has plenty of pictures of their progress in achieving this dubious milestone. They deserve a Golden Hourglass award for 'extreme waste of time.' What obscure hardware configurations have you managed to get Windows running on?"
Operating Systems

+ - DragonFly BSD to develop own filesystem

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Dillon has decided to develop a new filesystem from scratch to support DragonFly's clustering, rather than port an existing one. From his post: "There are currently two rough spots in the design. First, how to handle segment overflows in a multi-master environment. Such overflows can occur when the individual masters or slaves have different historical data retention policies. Second, where to store the regeneratable indexes.""
Privacy

+ - Is RFID A Security Risk?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From ABC news: "All it takes is a second, and it's gone — a modern day pick-pocket can snatch your credit card and other personal information without ever touching your wallet. The thieves need only a little know how, and about a hundred bucks. The technology we rely on everyday — is being abused." Video at http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=7on_your_ side&id=5065414"
Biotech

Merck To Halt Lobbying For Vaccine 544

Posted by kdawson
from the get-that-needle-away-from-me dept.
theodp writes "Reacting to a furor from some parents, advocacy groups, and public health experts, Merck said yesterday that it would stop lobbying state legislatures to require the use of its new cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, which acts against strains of the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus. The $400, 3-shot regimen was approved by the FDA in June. Later that month, a federal advisory panel recommended that females 11-26 years old be vaccinated. The governor of Texas has already signed an executive order making its use mandatory for schoolgirls."
Music

+ - Media Players, Linux and Ogg Vorbis

Submitted by
One Salient Oversigh
One Salient Oversigh writes "I have been able to use Ogg Vorbis files on my iRiver Digital Music Player and easily access it via my Linux o/s (Kubuntu 6.10). iRiver is one of the few companies that have produced players capable of playing Ogg Vorbis sound files, and all that is needed to make the player Linux-friendly is a change of firmware. If anyone is interested in how I was able to do this, check out my story on my blog. Are there others out there who thought they were disenfranchised by the Window-centricity of MP3 players?"
PHP

+ - Rapid PHP Application Development

Submitted by santakrooz
santakrooz (517854) writes "CodeGear has announced the first RAD IDE for PHP. Visual development, OSS component library, MySQL support, PHP5 and more. Will this change the PHP market?

From CodeGear "Delphi® for PHP is the first completely integrated visual Rapid Application Development (RAD) environment for PHP. Delphi's proven and familiar visual Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach means you are quickly up to speed and productive, without the headaches normally associated with learning a new development environment. The powerful PHP editor and debugger increase coding speed and efficiency, while the integrated VCL for PHP 5 component class library lets you quickly and visually create PHP web applications and integrate PHP open source components. Delphi for PHP has an integrated PHP 5 class library called Visual Component Library (VCL for PHP). A customizable palette of over 50 reusable components can include buttons, labels, check boxes, images, DHTML menus, flash objects, grids, tree views, list boxes and more. Database components are also available for accessing databases, tables, queries, and stored procedures, as well as data grids and navigation. You can also extend the VCL for PHP at any time with your own components, or use components offered through the open source PHP platform. Delphi for PHP makes it easy to create your own components and install customized packages to use in the IDE. The VCL for PHP makes it simple for you to develop new classes, because every component is built in pure PHP. Simply place components into forms and use them in your applications. VCL for PHP components have built-in properties, methods, and events that make web interface development a snap. Delphi for PHP is the fast and easy way to build powerful and reliable PHP web applications.""
The Almighty Buck

IRS May Ask eBay To Snitch On Sellers 418

Posted by kdawson
from the taxman-cometh dept.
Makarand writes "The IRS thinks that many sellers on online auction sites are unaware of their obligation to declare their profits and pay their taxes to the IRS. Tax experts are now asking the IRS to require online auction sites like eBay, Yahoo, and Ubid to report the gross sales numbers for their sellers. Such a requirement will surely send a shock wave across the online trading world because it could drastically reduce the profits a seller would make on these sites. The IRS thinks it can collect an extra $2 billion in taxes from this requirement that auctioneers report sellers who complete 100 or transactions a year worth at least $5,000."
Programming

+ - Introduction to Linden Scripting Language

Submitted by
prostoalex
prostoalex writes "Dr. Dobb's Journal runs a lengthy introduction to Linden Scripting Language, the language behind avatars and their interaction in Second Life: "LSL is a scripting language that runs server-side, on a piece of software called the simulator. The simulator does just what it's name implies — it simulates the virtual world of Second Life. Each simulator runs everything for 16 acres of virtual land — buildings, physics, and of course, scripts. While you manipulate the script text in a form that is somewhat easy to read, the actual code that runs on the simulator is compiled. A compiler is a piece of software that takes the text version of the script and converts it into something that can actually run. In the case of LSL, the compiler exists within the Second Life viewer itself. In the future, it is likely that the compiler will move from the viewer into the Second Life simulators, but where the code is compiled isn't very important. What matters is that the text is converted into a form that can run on the simulators.""

It isn't easy being the parent of a six-year-old. However, it's a pretty small price to pay for having somebody around the house who understands computers.

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