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Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 264

by orn (#37680100) Attached to: Stroke Victim Stranded At South Pole Base
I didn't know they had permission to land below 50 in 2004 - I thought the crew just decided to do it. And then, as I watched each of three of the four engines shutdown, I figured whoever made that decision might not be doing another flight. It seemed like a stroke of luck that they managed to get the engines restarted... This really seems like something a couple twinotters should be sent out for...

Comment: Re:Self-Destructing Key (Score 1) 887

by orn (#36724228) Attached to: DOJ: We Can Force You To Decrypt That Laptop

Interesting idea. Is there a method for doing this right now? It seems like since file systems are static (except when actually being written to), that the file system couldn't enforce it...

0. First order thoughts: You might be able to do it with paper that undergoes a slow chemical reaction... Or any storage system (like one of the platters of the hard drive) that is designed to gracefully decompose over time...

1. Product idea: Or maybe a flash with a leaky(er) capacitor. Save an intermediate key to the flash. If you don't refresh the memory within a certain amount of time, the capacitor's charge degrades and become unreadable. You must refresh it frequently in order to keep from losing the key...

2. Hacker solution: take the battery out of your computer - the one that keeps the NVRAM refreshed. Replace it with a capacitor that will give you a few hours charge. Store an intermediate key in your NVRAM. If the power goes out, find a way to get it powered within a few hours or loose your password. If someone walks in and takes your computer, they only have a few hours before everything on it becomes useless.

(these ideas dedicated to the public domain.)

Comment: Re:Yeah, but they gimped it so bad it's worthless (Score 3, Interesting) 244

by orn (#36616666) Attached to: World of Warcraft Goes Free With Starter Edition

A better solution might be to just create a level 20 server. Have the full game on there, including all the normal features. But no one on the server can get above level 20. Then, if someone decides to join, give them a free transfer to another server of their choice.

The only problem I could see is if the economy on the trial server is broken... transferring goods between servers would throw the economies out of whack if the incoming server's economy is broken... but I can't think of any reason why it would be...

Comment: already decided... (Score 1) 191

by orn (#36612918) Attached to: Supreme Court To Weigh In On Warrantless GPS Tracking

I'm pretty certain they're going to okay warrant-less GPS tracking.

The SC picks cases where the facts fit nicely into the decision they want to give. Trying to sell 50 kg of cocaine is a pretty damning, though unrelated, fact. That strongly suggests they'll come down on the side of "law enforcement."

Not to mention the SC's recent rubber stamping of whatever the government wants to do to prosecute "bad guys."

It's going to be awhile yet before the supreme court's pendulum swings the other way...

Comment: Bunni: How We First Met (Score 1) 480

by orn (#36361236) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Adventure Game To Start With?

This is a cute little love story where a boy bunny tries to woo the girl bunny he loves. There's one racy dance scene by the Pirate Bunny (who has a thing for the hero). But it's all cute and quite fun. I think the game mechanics are all understandable by a kid.

http://jayisgames.com/archives/2009/07/bunni_how_we_first_met.php

Comment: Lots of Data (Score 1) 183

by orn (#33384230) Attached to: Follow Up On Solar Neutrinos and Radioactive Decay

IceCube and Amanda (among many other experiments) have been running for many years collecting data on neutrino flux. Archeological digs have been dating many objects over the same period of time. With the sheer amount of data available, it seems like it should be straightforward (perhaps not easy) to answer this question.

The article lists a reason for mistrusting the data as "the researches didn't take the data themselves." That's often the case in science!

I do agree though, with great changes in physics comes great responsibility to collect a lot of data. Of course, everyone has the same data available to them... if you're pretty damn confident, then it makes sense to get the results out there so that you can get a lot more eyes looking at the data.

(I'll be over here in my corner trying other permutations of "with great ___ comes great ___." I'll report back soon.)

Comment: Familiar (Score 1) 131

by orn (#16132326) Attached to: HP Spying More Elaborate Than Reported
Wow, what HP's doing sounds amazingly familiar.

Here's an article on a bill immunizing the Bush Administration from prosecution for basically doing the same thing. Too bad HP can't call him up and ask to be included on the bill.

BTW, here's another article, this one by the ACLU on exactly what the Cheney-Specter bill does.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.

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