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Comment: Re:Oh great! (Score 1) 272

by esper (#29844839) Attached to: EU Paves the Way For Three-Strikes Cut-Off Policy

Let's see what else. Oh yeah he now has the power to declare a "national emergency" and shutdown the internet.

I'm always amazed at just how much people like to harp on the whole "OMG! Internet can be shut down in a national emergency!" thing. Yes, the President could abuse his power by arbitrarily declaring a national emergency and using that to derive the authority to shut down the internet.

But there's the slight side detail that the President has already had the power to declare a state of emergency and, say, revoke the right of habeas corpus (call me crazy, but I think holding people without charges or judicial oversight is a bit more serious than shutting down the internet) ever since Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution was accepted. The President has had far more injurious emergency powers available to him since long before you or I were born.

The power to shut down the internet in a national emergency does provide a possibility for abuse, there's no question about that, but, if you consider all the other things the President can order in a national emergency, shutting down the internet is just pissing in the ocean.

Comment: Re:GTA did it best... (Score 1) 352

by esper (#29702843) Attached to: In-Game Advertising Makes Games Better?

You underestimate the number of people who want bladder gauges... While I've never particularly understood the desire myself, the Oblivion modding community has produced a large number of (generally highly-rated) realism mods which require you to stop and eat/drink/rest every n game-hours. (They generally also tweak the ratio of game-time vs. real-time so that you don't have to eat every 30 seconds.) Some of them even require you to set up camp, build a fire, and cook your food before eating it or to remove your armor before sleeping.

I don't recall offhand whether I've seen any that require you to urinate/defecate "realistically" (i.e., not as a juvenile scatological joke), but I would be somewhat surprised if it hasn't been done.

Comment: Re:overly paranoid (Score 1) 391

by esper (#29643097) Attached to: Sloppy Linux Admins Enable Slow Brute-Force Attacks

All quite secure, unless the server is using crypt (or some other method which ignores everything after the 8th character) to hash its passwords. I'm sure you know enough to use MD5/SHA-n hashes on your system's passwords, but I don't trust the admins of some random server out on the net to be that responsible, so I tend to stick with random 8-alphanum passwords, courtesy of pwgen. (Osh9ahy6 kie9su9M fub2Ga5p Oegh6mie...)

Comment: Re:MUDs (Score 1) 73

by esper (#29615369) Attached to: Bridging the Gap Between User-Generated Content and Interesting Content

You too, eh?

I'd read a lot about OOP and made a few attempts at it, but had misunderstood the concept thoroughly enough that I was creating a separate class for every object, even if it the code was identical and the only difference was a couple of property values.

Then I started hanging out on LambdaMOO, requested a programmer bit, and started playing around with their tutorials. I "got it" and understood OOP (and how I'd been doing it wrong) almost instantly.

Good times...

Comment: Re:Exactly (Score 1) 404

by esper (#29615319) Attached to: Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads

I think you missed the part in TFA (and TFS) where it says "Sixty-six percent of those surveyed don't want tailored, or targeted, online ads, according to the study" even before tracking was (explicitly) introduced. Although TFA doesn't give the exact questions, the results as presented seem to indicate that 66% don't want targeted ads at all and an additional 20% aren't opposed to them in general, but are opposed to having their behaviour tracked across multiple sites as part of the ad targeting process.

Comment: Re:Cautiously Optimistic (Score 1) 132

by esper (#29603363) Attached to: Google Wave Backstage

Based on what I have read of Wave thus far, I am highly confident that it will support the sort of non-text collaboration you've described (there are already drop-in chessboards and the like for "collaboration" in the form of games). I would actually be mildly surprised if third-party devs haven't already started prototypes of Wave-based painting, spreadsheet, and musical composition apps.

Comment: Re:Van Gogh. . . (Score 1) 173

by esper (#29501689) Attached to: Sony Ericsson Develops Contact Headphones

Personally? I mostly listen to podcasts - short fiction, talking heads of the tech world, that kind of thing. Not music. When you're dealing with a single person talking (as in, say, most short fiction or audiobooks - or a phone call, for that matter), they either won't use stereo or both channels will carry identical audio. Panel discussions may use stereo, but they often don't. Even when they do, you don't really lose anything by mixing it down to mono, since it's just being done to virtually position the panel members, not to create any effects that enhance the experience (or at least it doesn't enhance my experience).

Just because stereo matters for music doesn't mean that it matters for audio recordings in general.

Comment: Re:Schools dont change (Score 1) 705

by esper (#29347987) Attached to: The Case For Mandatory Touch-Typing In High School

I didn't start using keyboards seriously until I was 8 (I had played with my mom's typewriter before that, but doubt I picked up any real speed there) and my experiences are much the same as yours. I spent a few years doing temp work after college and consistently tested in the upper-60s wpm on their tests, occasionally getting astonished comments from the temp agency's workers that I'd completed the test so quickly and with so few errors.

Also like you, I spend many hours a day on a keyboard and have never shown any signs of RSI or similar issues. I'm not sure I would entirely attribute that to the non-"standard" typing technique, though - I expect that my tendency to do everything by keyboard and rarely reaching for the mouse contributes as well.

"Proper" typing technique is highly, highly overrated.

Comment: Re:Hacking (Score 1) 244

by esper (#29253117) Attached to: Personalized In-Game Advertising In Upcoming Titles

I trust they won't send any of my "personal" information (name, telephone number, personal e-mails)...

You've just hit on exactly what I don't get about this blurb's claims of these games "collecting personal information":

When was the last time you entered your (real) name, a phone number, an email address, or any other piece of personal information into a game during play? In my case, that would be approximately... never, IIRC.

Any information I've ever entered has been during registration, not gameplay, and that's already getting sent to the publisher whether they use in-game ads or not. Unless they're including local exploits to collect information from other applications without the user's knowledge/consent, then I don't see any evidence of an actual privacy threat tied to the ads.

For God's sake, stop researching for a while and begin to think!

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