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Comment Re:Not sure who to cheer for (Score 1) 190

This kind of argument is very annoying. Whenever somebody tries to charge for content, somebody else will copy it and distribute it for free. So, it's almost impossible, in the long run, to charge for content and continue to make a profit. All that's left is creating a better "wrapper" for the consumers. It takes time and energy to do that, and people don't want to enter a credit card to experience a site, so there really aren't a lot of options left.

Comment Re:Fair-weather power sources are lame... (Score 1) 337

A bit more detail: nuclear batteries used to power probes like Voyager used plutonium-238, which is available via the US and Russia. Bottom line, the ESA would need to rely on it's supply of americium-241 to create the next generation of batteries. The conversation about using the stockpiles of americium-241 to create batteries really started in earnest (media coverage-wise, at least) in 2012, which was after this probe was deployed.

Comment Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 465

I read something a few months back that really struck me. I don't recall the source, so I'll try to paraphrase to the best of my ability. The basic tenant is that punishing a crime with the intent to get back at the offender is nothing more than revenge and is not the intent of the rule of law. The rule of law is to 1) remove violent and disruptive individuals from society, 2) discourage others from perpetrating the same crime.

In cases with violent and disruptive components, such as assault and drug dealing, it's very clear that incarceration is the best option. For non-violent crimes, such as IP theft, money laundering, etc, it's not really so clear. Since the intent this time wasn't to remove the individual from society (which I think we call can agree wasn't necessary in this case) that means that the judge somehow A) determined the value of the stolen film, B) decided that 33 months was the amount of incarceration that would discourage others from stealing the same "value" of property. The judge ruled out public service, ruled out probation, and ruled out fines as an acceptable deterrent to future offenders. While it's easy not to agree with the ruling, it takes a very good understanding of human psyche to know when a penalty is enough to discourage OTHERS from committing the same crime.

Comment backups, then continuing ed... (Score 2) 208

If this were for my company, I'd want to do two things with the hardware. First, use it to back up the cloud environment. Maybe not the applications, but definitely the data. Disaster recovery is always paramount in the corporate world.

Second, I'd want the hardware used to try out some new software, techniques, file systems, media servers, etc. It's never too late to learn new skills, and what better to learn on than servers you don't mind wiping if they get messed up. Using them to mine bitcoins is far less valuable (in a corporate environment) in the long run than using them to learn new skills, and exposure to new software.

Comment Re:Same as Facebook (Score 1) 109

I was thinking the same thing... this is what Facebook did as a social experiment in a way. Personally, I'm supportive of Facebook's experiment as it added to the scientific body of work about social manipulation. In my opinion there's no expectation of equal "news" coverage on a social site, website, blog, TV station, or anywhere. As long as there are other options available, I say that "news" services can run their service without editorial oversight by the Government.

Comment Re:Fix according to Apple is (Score 2, Informative) 415

The email Verizon sends an Android upgrader includes a link labeled "Prepare and Activate". The page clearly explains how to deal with this. This ENTIRE ARTICLE is about somebody who didn't RTFM and got bit in the butt.

Comment Re:Article is empty (Score 3, Insightful) 305

Which is the authors point. A programmer, not just a person who programs, has a special way of looking at the world and its systems. The conversation she's having with people is designed to separate those two kinds of people. Systems are generally more complex than they appear on first glance--and a real programmer is very able to visualize, define, and describe the system to whatever level of complexity is required. That being said, a GOOD programmer (and his manager) is able to keep feature creep in check by not getting distracted by out-of-spec parameters.

Submission + - Cops Could Stall Your Engine Using Radio Pulses

cartechboy writes: We all remember the legendary car chase with a white Ford Bronco and more cop cars than could fit on television in close pursuit. We remember that Bronco flying through the spike strips and other futile attempts by the police to stop the vehicle. Fast forward almost 20 years: Now police are talking about new technology that could disable a vehicle's engine just by sending a radio pulse. In recent years, there has been talk of using electromagnetic-pulse systems to disable fleeing vehicles, but they really affect a car's electronics. A British company called E2V is now testing a system that could confuse the vehicle's electronic systems enough to cause the engine to turn off. Essentially, it would stall the vehicle, which would bring it to a stop. This solution could be much safer than traditional spike strips--but what about the braking and steering systems on new vehicles with electric power steering systems?

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan