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Comment A good case for municipal broadband (Score 1) 94

One thing that really strikes me about this story is how many walls the founders of this movement ran into trying to get it set up - they wanted towers, but said putting those up would be prohibitively expensive for such a small organization. Now, imagine that a municipality was able to get behind this, maybe get some state funding to offset the costs (perhaps by providing free broadband to homes with children in public schools that otherwise could not afford it) and was able to put up a better system that didn't rely so much on the homeowners to maintain (the article states that any homeowner who has it installed has to provide power for it for life even if they do not use it). Commercial providers would be forced to cut prices and improve service or go under.

Comment Re: I appreciate the mame guys (Score 3, Informative) 33

Actually in some cases, there were arcade boards that had planned obsolesence built into them. All of the Capcom Play System boards (CPS1, CPS2, CPS3) had various forms of what was known as a "suicide battery". In some boards this was a battery powering a RAM chip that contained a decryption table for the game. Once the battery died, the RAM would lose the decryption tables and make it impossible for the board to work. Others had a "suicide battery" that powered the game's graphics hardware, and needed a hardware-level fix (beyond just replacing the battery) to get the game working again. Sega also had their own suicide battery system for some of their hardware, but Capcom was the biggest offender.

MAME bypasses all of this suicide hardware, and from what I recall some of the people on the MAME project worked on some of the software-level fixes necessary to get the older boards working again.

Comment Re:What's so secret about those numbers? (Score 4, Informative) 57

The American model of identification number is basically supposed to be a secret between you, your employer, your insurer, your financial institution, and the government. The reason for this is that this is what you use to sign up for things like bank accounts and credit cards - and there's nothing in place to stop someone who has your SSN from getting a bunch of credit cards in your name and maxing them out.

Korea is kind of weird in that they want their numbers to be secret, but have people use them for a lot of things. One of the most wide-scale cases of identity theft in South Korea for a long time (I don't know if it's the case as much today) was in MMORPGs, where they required people to sign up with a Korean identification number to play. There was actually a huge database of so called "KSSNs" (Korean Social Security Number) that were used to do this. The reason for this, oddly enough, had to do with a breach in a game called Lineage 2 that required KSSNs for registration - after the breach, the Korean government mandated that all online games use KSSNs for signups. I've heard they also use them for social media stuff but I've never seen that firsthand.

Comment Cause, or effect? (Score 3, Interesting) 47

What I'm wondering is whether this is something like the plaques that build up with Alzheimer's disease - modern medicine still doesn't know whether the plaques are a cause of Alzheimer's or a by-product of something that is the real cause of the disease. It seems plausible to me that this retrovirus could be to ALS what Kaposi's Sarcoma is to HIV/AIDS - a unique symptom of the underlying disease that certainly makes things worse, but isn't really part of the underlying cause.

Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

It's also the opposite - there are plenty of foreign businesses who won't ship to the United States. I have a friend who buys a lot of anime goods off Yahoo Auctions JP, and most of the sellers there will not ship outside of Japan. He pays an exorbitant sum to re-shippers to forward the packages to him.

On the business side, I once worked for a place that made airplane parts. One of their customers is a French firm that routinely shipped parts back to them in order to get them fixed. They also had to use a freight forwarder for it both ways, same for Honeywell's operation in the UK.

Regulating this kind of freight forwarding would probably be borderline impossible to do given the sheer number of different countries and their law sets involved.

Comment Re:According to article, no one will build them (Score 0) 121

“Nuclear power requires obedience. Demand what you really need. Just look at Donald Trump. What can possibly go wrong?”

Not sure what to think of it.

May 2016

(Atlanta) Thousands were horrified today as Donald Trump's newest Trump Tower, built on the outskirts of the Atlanta Metro Area, was subjected to low levels of radiation from a minor ventilation breach at a recently-completed nuclear power plant. The breach, which released levels of radiation normally considered harmless, caused Trump's hair to mutate into a separate organism during a rally at the new high-rise. Experts are baffled at how this could have happened, but one doctor at the event was quoted as saying "It was probably a side effect of all that hairspray."

Trump's hair has stated that it intends to run for president as a separate entity from Trump himself, running on a platform that involves building a wall of barber shops along the US-Mexican border to "stop shipments of cheap and illegal toupees made from the hair of Mexican migrant workers". In a recent CNN/ORC poll, Trump's hair polled at a full 5 percentage points over the rest of Donald Trump.

Democratic candidates have accused the hair of being a hairpiece that was originally made in China, which would make it ineligible to run for the presidency. Trump's hair has vehemently denied this accusation, stating, "I am the real deal, and I'd be glad to let anyone who needs proof see my long firm birth certificate.. and also run their hand through me."

Comment Re:why? (Score 4, Informative) 26

They'd buy it because of their horrible track record on human rights. The Saudi government is about to execute a man for participating in the Arab Spring protests.. that, and because his uncle isn't from the same side of Islam as the current regime. Protests like the ones they're sentencing someone to death for often get organized online over social media - and what better way to quash dissent than to monitor social media and put spyware on the computers of anyone even suspected of planning a protest, then jail and/or murder them to silence them?

Even if the Saudi government did not use it for some reason, there are plenty of regimes in the Middle East (Iran, for one) that would be happy to purchase such software from the Saudi government in order to crack down on their own dissidents, especially considering that the United States and Europe would have qualms about selling to them.

Comment Re:What is the incentive to the uploaded? (Score 2) 279

I think in the case of cam-rips, they're usually not uploaded at all. Private trackers won't take them, and no one is going to download them on public trackers unless they're desperate. Most cam-rips, from what I understand anyway, get burned to disc and sold on the street rather than put online.

Submission + - Study: People emit a "Germ Cloud" of bacteria as unique as a fingerprint

An anonymous reader writes: According to a new study, we are all surrounded by a personal "germ cloud" as unique as a fingerprint. Lead author of the study Dr James Meadow says: "We expected that we would be able to detect the human microbiome in the air around a person, but we were surprised to find that we could identify most of the occupants just by sampling their microbial cloud. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud." The findings were published today in the journal PeerJ.

Comment Isn't this really a problem of treatment? (Score 5, Informative) 233

What I think the article (really more of a short, buzzword-filled list) fails to address is that IT workers aren't leaving major, established corporations for "unicorns" for no reason. Most workers aren't going to give up seniority (and the perks that come with it like better pay and benefits) at a big company for a job at a startup for no reason other than because they can. In reality, it's probably that the startups are offering higher pay and better working conditions, thus giving workers a reason to leave.

This honestly reminds me of where I work right now, where the management is stumped at why they keep having people quit when they have managers going around every night telling people how much they want to fire them and how at risk they are of losing their jobs.

Comment How much does it cost? (Score 1) 372

What I'm wondering is, how much does it cost to get sole marketing rights to a generic drug? This seems like the kind of thing where a nonprofit or NGO should form to buy the rights to all the generics, and then sell the drugs at or very close to cost - until, that is, the loophole that allowed Turing to do what they did is closed.

Comment Re:Moral outrage! (Score 1) 236

There's a reason no one has ever tried to sell true a la carte service, and it's because the content providers force "bundling" with their channels. Disney, for instance, is well known for forcing providers to bundle a bunch of crap in with ESPN - their deal with the cable companies is bundle or don't get it at all. Almost every content provider does this in order to sell their less popular channels.

Comment Difficult investigation, or difficult charges? (Score 1) 99

What I'm wondering is whether this is actually a difficult investigation, or whether it's actually that the Japanese courts are having trouble deciding what to charge Karpeles with. I don't think there's a single government that has decided what Bitcoin actually is - a currency or personal property. If it's a currency, and it turns out that Karpeles was taking money from his business, that's embezzlement. If it's not, it's theft. There could also be fraud charges thrown in if, as some people suggest, the stolen coins never actually existed and were basically a large-scale accounting error. It seems like the courts would have to first define what Bitcoin is in order to actually charge someone for stealing them.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.