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Comment I remember when the SS check came in (Score 2) 111

Wow, out of sheer mad coincidence I happened to be chatting with Steve in the old Metaverse MOO when the check was delivered. (Don't in any way recall why, he wouldn't know me from Adam despite having a friend in common.) Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

My only question is why there has never been a good computer version of Car Wars.

Comment Nice attempt to look like they care (Score 5, Insightful) 150

They're worried about DUPLICATION of effort?!? How about putting in some damn effort first. More than a decade and over 1000 girls in just one damn city. All the software tools in the world won't help if you turn them away at the station or refuse to do any of the work for fear of hurting feelings. Spend less on computers and more on prosecutions for those cops who let those girls suffer.

Comment Re:This is new? (Score 1) 193

Hey chuckle head - I'm not an anti-Semite. I was strongly implying that members of the *IOC*, not me, were OK with killing Jews. Picking on Israel is pretty much a competitive activity for most of the member countries. Athletes in international competition can refuse to face Israelis and aren't crushed for it the way a Russian athlete would be if he refused a match with a gay athlete. And the IOC for 40 years has steadfastly refused to allow any commemoration of the murders in Munich whatsoever.

And Russia, no matter their intent and access to tech, does not currently have the cash to pay for the massive numbers of internal informants that China has. Maybe back in the peak Soviet years, but not now, even with current income from supplying energy. And where the f*ck did you get "tin foil hat" and any examination whatsoever about Russian motive in the three sentences I posted?

Comment This is new? (Score 5, Insightful) 193

Face it, the IOC is perfectly OK with corruption, oppression, censorship, and spying, as long as committee members get their payoffs, a pleasant facade is maintained while cameras are rolling, and nobody but Jews get killed. Russia wishes they could have the all encompassing monitoring that Beijing had, but they just don't currently have the resources. Keeping the athletes in segregated housing simply makes it easier to ensure that every single area is bugged, and each and every person there that the participants can possibly come in contact with is engaged in intelligence collecting.

Comment Re:I picked 20 years (Score 1) 472

Exactly. In the end it won't be technology holding adoption up, it will be lawyers. Plaintiff counsel will go after the deep pockets - the manufacturers. A couple of sexy liability claims, followed by a class action filed in East Texas, and even Google will give up. Without serious curbs on the trial lawyers, this will go the way of the Segway.

Comment This is really going to be used for remote firing (Score 1) 551

Where this technology will really make a difference is remotely-fired platforms - drones and robotic gun mounts. The operator paints the target with the laser, hits a selector when the beam hits a good point, and commands the platform to fire. The computer figures out the rest. Fragile meat people aren't exposed to take the shot.

It's expensive now, but this is the introductory enthusiast version. The open source v3 equivalent will be have plans online using easily acquired inexpensive components and a 3d printer.

(As scary as this can be, part of me thinks this is awesome - but then I always play riggers in Shadowrun. ;) )

Comment Re:worthless against trolls (Score 2) 98

That was my immediate thought, too. Against pure trolls, IP only companies that don't actually make anything, this would be worthless. Companies would just spin off their portfolios to new "independent" IP entities who produced nothing but lawsuits to avoid the defensive response.

Comment Re:Wrong. (Score 2) 1065

Exactly. Changes to tax codes to try to screw "the rich" will almost never touch them, other than to take some productive money out of the system and waste it on lobbyists, lawyers, and accountants when it could have been put somewhere useful. If I was facing a $2 Billion tax bite, you better damn well believe I'd spend some fraction of that money to find a way to get out of paying the rest. Even the so-called "Buffet Tax" isn't actually designed to go after the places Mr Buffet himself actually hides his cash from the taxman, it's just a feelgood measure to stir up populist votes while screwing those middle class folks who suddenly find themselves "rich" but don't have enough cash to pay for the accountants needed to skate.

Comment try service for a change (Score 5, Insightful) 532

I'm with you - the one idea that the big box stores absolutely refuse to contemplate is competing based on _service_ instead of _price_. Most of them already used low prices to kill off the local small stores that provided real service to the shopper and community, now that they're getting creamed by Amazon they suddenly are all about supporting the local store.

You want to be the "local" store, Mr. Big Box Chain? Try some actual service. Stores that make sense, staff that understands the product and wishes to help rather than just upsell warranty packages, "sale" prices that are actually below the normal price that I need less than 2 seconds to find with my phone. Some products I really want to be able to touch and examine with my Mark 1 eyeball, which I just can't do online. Or ask questions in real time, with the product in front of me. Make that happen, make the experience pleasant, and I'll buy from the physical store over the online store if the prices are even close.

Too often I go into a place like Best Buy absolutely intending to buy a specific thing and fail. The stores are laid out to some layout designed to make you walk past as many impulse purchase racks as possible, rather than getting you right to the thing you actually want to buy. The staff isn't judged on whether they are helpful or even friendly - their metrics are all about sales, without teaching them any skills at interaction that might make sales happen. The item might not be in the place it should be, but good luck finding a minion to check the system for where it is, or whether it is out of stock. Forget service, try to go to Best Buy and not get angry.

As long as the brick and mortar guys lose on both sales and service to the online retailers, they're inevitably going to die, unmourned. I acknowledge that they probably can't win on price. How about, just for giggles, trying service, just once?

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist