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Comment Re:Charger cables (Score 1) 283

I look forward to the day when I can have a single micro USB cable (or whatever the future version might look like) on my desk and in my bag.

I have a device that still uses mini USB, several using micro USB, and proprietary Pebble, Fitbit and iPhone chargers. Manageable when I'm at my desk if a little messy; more difficult when I'm travelling and either take a whole bunch of cables or just the most important (usually one lightning and one micro USB).

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 312

Well, yes, it is primarily shooters to blame. I'm not afraid to admit that sometimes gun owners can be our own worst enemy, and this is one of those instances.

Oddly, some of the worst behavior I've seen was from stupid/bored/drunk/high townies that live nearby, and basically call these areas their back yard. After all, they don't have to drive an hour to get there, and don't consider shooting opportunities as a scarce resource. A fair share is also due to campers (more like squatters sometimes), and no doubt hikers as well, as even that demographic has two divisions: people who basically leave no trace, and pigs like everyone else.

As a hiker, I'm always picking up hiker related rubbish on the trail (energy bar wrappers being the most common), but there is a practical limit to how much damage one hiker can do, namely the weight they can carry on their back. As a shooter, I always bring along a rake and shovel and at least a couple huge industrial grade trash bags for cleanup after I'm done. I often fill at least one bag and bring it back to the city for disposal.

Comment Re:Soft Power (Score 2) 365

And when Europe decides to ignore a whole lot of American drug patents in return?

The reason the WTO exists is to try and avoid tit-for-tat trade wars like what you're suggesting. Ultimately they make everyone poorer.

The US has an uncompetitive tax system for corporations. It's not even about the rate, it's about the fact that they're double taxed on worldwide income, something no other country does. Instead of coming up with creative ways to try and "punish" people who develop life saving drugs for getting sick of American tax exceptionalism, why not find ways to make them want to stay?

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 1) 312

To which I ask, what's your point? I accept that risk in the name of freedom. You can have freedom or the illusion of safety, which would you prefer?

The idea that guns lead to freedom is based on a simple assumption: an overly oppressive government could be overthrown through some sort of armed uprising. This is a fantasy. Nobody in America has any chance of overthrowing or resisting their local government through force of arms. If you attempted it alone, you'd be immediately killed by armed police and written off as just another guy with mental problems. If you tried to coordinate a group bigger than 10 people you'd be detected and classified as some sort of domestic terrorists, and most likely end up in a firefight with a much larger, better armed and better armoured group than yourself (US police have access to ex-military equipment from Iraq, right).

But there are literally no scenarios in which a government passes a law, a bunch of people start shooting up police stations or senate buildings, and that government says, "oh ok, I guess that was kind of oppressive, we'll repeal the law" and everything goes back to being peaches and cream.

So it's a false choice. Guns do not equate to freedom and the cultural link between the two is an American-specific phenomenon.

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 312

I don't know of a gun range that can afford to buy several square miles around their property, so people can't build progressively closer and closer to the range--and then complain to the county and get them shut down--do you?

That's exactly what has happened to virtually all of the ranges in my area, except one that's smack dab in the middle of a state park where the only neighbors are geese, ducks and herons.

So, we're left with a few, short distance indoor ranges with excessive noise and poor ventilation, a couple decent outdoor ranges with expensive membership fees that are at least an hours drive outside of the population centers, and the national forests which are yet further away, and also incrementally driven further away as the forest rangers close down viable shooting spots due to assholes who have to treat everything as a dump.

Comment Re:Next step? (Score 1) 111

There are apps for Android that claim to do exactly that. I believe some of them warn you if you were downgraded to 2G unexpectedly or if encryption was switched off by the cell site.

Two problems. One is nobody uses such apps. It needs to be integrated with the OS really. And another is that apparently the makers of the Stingray devices have a device that can attack 3G networks as well. This latter device is only rumoured and last time I researched it, I concluded almost nothing is known about how it works, assuming it actually works at all. It's possible it's doing something like exploiting bugs in radio firmwares or something like that.

Comment Re:Because of the endless whiners (Score 1) 151

I suspect you might well be surprised at the hardware used by people who use Slashdot. With a few exceptions, I think the majority of people here seem quite intelligent and logical but have somewhat of an aversion to change and unnecessary innovations.

Speaking purely for myself, I built my computer in 2011 with a i5 2500k and maxed out the RAM. Then I spent £60 on a low end graphics card because - why spend more when I have a console for gaming and a media player (WDTV at the time) for watching downloaded shows and movies?

I might be in the minority, but I don't think it will be a tiny minority.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.