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Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 232

It seems like this is a good place for a new app. It could display only your driver's license but not allow access to the rest of the phone without a PIN being entered. It would also have to shut off the data port, NFC, etc to prevent the other ways of getting data off of the phone with physical access.

For me, I'll stick with my plastic license.

Comment Re:Hidden agenda that might bite us? (Score 1) 379

From Coyote Blog:

The phones that were in my home at my birth in 1962 were identical to the one in my dorm room when AT&T was broken up in 1982. We are turning the Internet into a public utility -- name three innovations from an American public utility in the last 40 years. Name one.

And all you free-speech advocates, do you really think the Feds won't use this as a back-door to online censorship? We are talking about the same agency that went into a tizzy when Janet Jackson may have accidentally on purpose shown a nipple on TV. All that is good with TV today-- The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Arrested Development, etc. etc. etc. results mainly from the fact that cable is able to avoid exactly the kind of freaking regulation you want to impose on the Internet.

Apparently the 1934 Telecommunications Act imposes a legal obligation on phone carriers to complete calls no matter who they are from. Sounds familiar, huh? Just like net neutrality. It turns out this law is one of the major barriers preventing phone companies from offering innovative services to block spam calls.


Nuclear Power Could See a Revival 415

shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."

Comment Re:Whatever it taks! (Score 2, Insightful) 911

"If *I* think it's crap, but the marketplace thinks it's vastly superior, the only way to resolve this paradox is to assume that the marketplace is profoundly stupid and duped by Apple's svengali-like marketing. Because it couldn't possibly be that I don't have a freaking clue what people want."

I believe the US elections of the past few years show that as long as the average consumer is distracted by shiny toys, nothing else makes any impact on their brain. Apple products are the ultimate in shiny toys, thus, they are wildly successful.

There are many other shiny toys that target people with more money than brains, and most are also wildly successful: almost every heavily advertised movie or video game (regardless of actual quality), "premium" automobiles that are just re-badged versions of cheaper makes, and, of course, casinos.

I think anyone (including /. readers) should be proud if they are not one of the sheep, but rather a thinking human being. Even if you are an Apple fan (which means you likely aren't a big thinker...I kid) it's pretty easy to figure that an iPhone plus some other device (netbook, eReader, etc.) is a better bang for your buck than an iPad.

Comment Re:Another energy-diffuse, capital-intensive syste (Score 0) 203

Well, if you can design a windmill, solar cell, tidal turbine or other naturally-powered generator so that you can leave it alone for decades (centuries?), it can pay itself off compared to the cost of operating a traditional fuel-burning plant, although the payoff time would be so slow it may need subsidies to get investment going.

I do agree that, beyond research/prototype funding, government shouldn't subsidize these technologies until they are able to compete commercially on their own merits. Until it's cost effective, the money is better spent on clean coal or nuclear.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences... (Score 2, Informative) 203

I know you aren't serious, but in case anyone is curious: Last I heard, this process is so slow the sun going red giant on us is a more pressing issue. Somehow changing this moon escapism process shouldn't have any real effect on people even billions of years from now.

Comment Re:Hardcore players (Score 1) 459

Nonsense. Law is simply morality that's been codified.

That's a false equivalence, which if accepted creates a tautology.

The law in some jurisdictions provides for a death penalty. The fact that a death penalty is authorized by law does not automatically make it moral -- it is moral to some, and immoral to others. This is but one example.

The law may reflect particular versions of morality, but it is even more frequently amoral. Building codes specify how your house must be built. There is nothing inherently immoral in building a non-compliant structure or owning a non-compliant structure (excluding fraudulent sales to others), yet the law does not allow it.

The law of copyright is 300 years old. The morality of copying is subject to debate. Your general proposition appears to be that it is immoral to copy a work. If so, one must question why it is immoral to copy a work the day before a copyright expires yet moral to copy the same work the day after the copyright expires. Note: the morality of complying with copyright is not in question -- you've argued that law is codified morality, and not than that it is immoral to flout the law.

Comment Ryzom Project Roadmap (Score 1) 117

I perused the project website, and was pleased to see that they hope to have native clients for OS X and GNU/Linux by year's end.

I'm happy to see efforts in this direction, and hope that it might lead to more gaming options on those client platforms.

More details on these specific plans here:

Comment Re:Bendable (Score 3, Insightful) 219

A few years ago I saw a demonstration by Philips on TV of a bendable e-ink screen. I think bendability is more important than colour. If the screen is bendable it can behave more like a real book.

I'm not sure how much I care about the ability to bend my books.

Yes, paper bends... As I turn a page it bends... But bendability isn't really something fundamental to the function of a book. A book's primary purpose is the display of information.

I mean... Is a magazine somehow better than a 500 page novel just because it's more bendable?

Are hardcover books somehow inferior to paperbacks, simply because they're less bendable?

I have a nook, and I read plenty of books on it. And I have never, ever found myself thinking you know what would make this ereader perfect? If I could just bend it...

Comment Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (Score 3, Insightful) 246

I personally think its ridiculous that MS has to offer alternative browsers at all. An operating system is not just the kernel, but all the software bundled on top. IE8 is just a value add on top of windows; one you can easily replace. That some users are so incompetent (I say this with love) they could not install another browser is a testament to the reason why MS even bundled IE8 to start with. Windows is usually bundled with lots of software that have alternatives; from games, to notepad, to web servers. Why not give users a choice of Apache, Lighttpd, IIS, etc. when installing Windows? I say this as a guy who has been using primarily using Linux, both at home and work, for the past 8 or 9 years. I think I'd be very annoyed if Ubuntu required me to choose amongst alternatives for each large piece of software it installs by default.

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner