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Comment: Re:Is this a trick question? (Score 1) 551

by ZachPruckowski (#37494090) Attached to: Your State University Doesn't Want You
Yes, it is a trick question. There's no inherent relationship between the merit of giving employee benefits and the in-state/out-of-state ratio nor is there a relationship between the merit of giving employees benefits and what their CEO (President) gets paid. The employees didn't determine the in-state/out-of-state ratio nor did they pick their President's salary.

Comment: Re:Coordination? (Score 1) 203

by ZachPruckowski (#33334012) Attached to: <em>Portal</em> On the Booklist At Wabash College
For an 18 year old with good hand eye coordination (some portal-jumps are challenging, even in earlier levels) and strong problem-solving ability, sure. But it's still nowhere near as simple as turning a page, and the skillset is less related to what you'll need in other classes than the vocabulary and reading comprehension required by textbooks or readings from prose.

Comment: Re:gift card laws? (Score 1) 620

by ZachPruckowski (#33195528) Attached to: <em>EVE</em> Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game
Assuming he bought those PLEX via timecodes (instead of on the market), he redeemed the "gift card" for the PLEX, which is a valuable in-game item. He then proceeded to do something stupid and lose them. The analogous situation would be if I left my giftcard on the bus. Kohl's isn't going to give me $25 credit for a gift card that I lost through my own stupidity. If you undocked in a frigate with valuable cargo knowing there are war-targets in system, you are accepting like a 75% risk of getting blown up and losing your cargo. It'd be one thing if someone exploited a bug to take his gift cards, but that's not the case here. Shooting war-targets is an acceptable game mechanic, and for that matter outright piracy is an accepted game mechanic (and a pirate gang to hunt him would assemble in a hurry with a shot at 74 PLEX on the line).

Further, it's a safe bet he got these PLEX on the market instead of through timecodes. If he had timecodes, he'd just redeem the PLEX in the remote stations (to avoid precisely this sort of risk). What probably happened here was that he solicited investment and bought the timecodes on the Jita 4-4 market for resale in distant markets (where PLEX prices are higher). His profit would be the ~10% price spread between Jita prices and 0.0 prices.

Comment: Re:Ouch. (Score 1) 620

by ZachPruckowski (#33195218) Attached to: <em>EVE</em> Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game
Because you can trade time-codes for ISK, people occasionally refer to in-game items in terms of dollar-worth. For instance, a Carrier might be worth a couple billion ISK when well-fitted, which works out to $100-150 ($70 per billion ISK when I played in the Spring), so if you're dumb enough to get your Carrier blown up, even with insurance, you'd be out $50+ if you had sold timecodes (PLEX) for that ISK.

Comment: Re:evidence? (Score 1) 435

by ZachPruckowski (#33187986) Attached to: The 'Net Generation' Isn't
I'm the exact same way as the GP. I don't know a whole lot about my car at all. I mean, I have the basic understanding from science class of how a combustion engine works and how gears work, but I see my car as "put gas in, steer and shift, and arrive at my destination". I think a lot of this is because my needs are so low. I don't drive faster than 65 mph, I don't need to make especially tight turns, and I don't need to off-road. Basically my car has to get me to the store or maybe 90 minutes to my parents' house, and I can do that in a 10-year-old Subaru as easily as in a new car. Sort of like the people who use their computers to check their email and maybe once-in-a-blue-moon "do a Google". They don't care about the difference between RAM and HDD because they're not trying to squeeze extra performance out of their computer.

Comment: Re:Fee Wi-Fi are a drain on the bottom line? (Score 5, Insightful) 312

by ZachPruckowski (#33187784) Attached to: Some LA Coffee Shops Are Taking Wi-Fi Off the Menu
Look - security is a pyramid. At the peak of the pyramid are like national spying organizations, and at the bottom are literally animals. You usually only need to stop part of the problem to be effective. A doorknob stops feral cats or raccoons from getting in, but not criminals. A padlock stops hooligans, but actual criminals can break it. A deadbolt is better, but can still be picked by higher-end criminals. Vault doors and lasers stop all but the most professional of criminals or spies in their tracks.

But I don't need to worry about "what if Michael Westen or James Bond wants to raid my cash register?" because the odds of that are so low, I'm just not a target as a coffee shop. So if all I've got is some expresso machines and a few bucks in the register, I get a normal lock and some insurance, not armed guards.

This is the technology equivalent. I'm not worried about "what if he spoofs his MAC" or "what if he's war-driving from a remote controlled helicopter". I can solve 95% of my problem (people mooching off me) for 10% of the cost/effort, so I'll probably stop there.

Comment: Re:Military Policies in General (Score 1) 390

by ZachPruckowski (#33169940) Attached to: US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

However, in the military, breaching your contract can end up in confinement. Does that not seem immoral? Why does wishing to fight WITH the military mean signing your life away? Isn't it the officer's job to ensure that he can rely on his troops, and if he feels he can't - then he should send them away?

Yeah, you screw over a landlord or employer that way, you face fines. You screw over our fighting forces that way, you face jail time. Just like how the punishment for busting into a nuclear silo is more severe than the punishment for breaking into someone's home.

You don't get to be a fair-weather solider. If you sign up for the Army, you sign up to war and peace, victory and defeat. Given that we have a volunteer Army, and the punishment for desertion is confinement instead of death, we've come a long way historically. If the life isn't for you, don't do it. It's certainly not something I could do, and I have a lot of respect for the people who can do it and who do do it.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't it be against the rules anyways? (Score 2, Informative) 390

by ZachPruckowski (#33168290) Attached to: US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks
Bingo. Just because information has been made public doesn't mean it's been de-classified. Anyone with a security clearance and anyone with a job anywhere near the DoD signed about a billion forms and went through a dozen trainings regarding how to respond to improperly handled classified forms. Step 1 is "delete/destroy any copies within reach", and Step 2 is "call the security folks". Anyone in the defense world in possession of classified documents they shouldn't have is in violation of employment agreements and potentially laws.

Comment: Re:Military Policies in General (Score 1) 390

by ZachPruckowski (#33168210) Attached to: US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks
When you sign up for the military, you sign up for a term of service. You can't just take the training and then quit if you don't like your assignment. Commitment like this isn't unique to the military or even employment. Pro athletes and actors/singers sign contracts promising to perform for X years, and they can't quit at year X-2 because they feel like it. I am committed to living in my apartment for another 3 months, and I have a (very specific and time-limited) non-compete clause in my employment contract. My landlord needs assurances that he won't be unexpectedly stuck with an empty room, and my bosses need assurances I won't leave them for a client.

Comment: Re:Not all private (Score 1) 341

by ZachPruckowski (#33111500) Attached to: Does Net Neutrality Violate the Fifth Amendment?
The government still had to pay for that land though. They could take the homes, but they needed to compensate people for them. There's obviously some latitude for the government to screw you in terms of what qualifies as "just compensation", but it's not like they can just not pay or even just toss you a five dollar bill for your McMansion.

Comment: Re:Small errors? (Score 1) 447

by ZachPruckowski (#32811216) Attached to: Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report

55% to 26% is a small error?

The fact that I'm only going to cut off one of your legs instead of both should not ease your dread at my producing a bonesaw[1]. I mean, flooding even 10% of a country like that is a humanitarian crisis in line with the 2004 tsunami or the Haiti Earthquake. Going from a "biblical disaster" to an "epic disaster" is a small change in terms of impact. They're both catastrophic.

[1] - For the analogy-impaired, that is in no way, shape, or form a threat.

Comment: Re:To be fair... (Score 1) 546

by ZachPruckowski (#32739614) Attached to: Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers

That they caught R2K at this, and were willing to expose it

Except - they neither caught R2K nor exposed them, FiveThirtyEight.com did. Going public was an act of damage control, not and act of contrition.

If you read what either Kos or Nate Silver have said, it was independent researchers working with Kos (who gave them the needed data) who exposed it, and Kos who first published it. What 538 did a few weeks ago was rank R2K low on their pollster rankings. Combined with shoddy polling in a few straight elections, this caused Kos to sack R2K before any accusations of impropriety were made.

Comment: Re:Groklaw link (Score 1) 168

by ZachPruckowski (#32535766) Attached to: Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial
I think a lot of it is that the US legal system is designed to handle legitimate cases. There's just not much precedent for someone destroying their company to pursue legal action that served solely (IMO) as means to facilitate an extortion ring ($699 license fees on copyrights SCO doesn't own) and a stock scam (go Team FUD!). Throw in the technical complexities, and it's definitely an outlier that I'm not sure is good proof of anything.

Comment: Re:I do not have a problem with this ... (Score 1) 395

by ZachPruckowski (#32483670) Attached to: Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

California law is a bit unusual in that it calls all kinds of things "theft" that have different names elsewhere. For example, if you rent a car, and don't return it, and the rental car company asks you to return it, and you keep it for another eleven days, then by California law it will be assumed that this was theft.

I'm sorry for the tangent, but what is this "usually" called? Because I'm pretty sure keeping a rental for like 2 weeks is going to get you into trouble anywhere.

Comment: Re:Ya know, nobody seems to get it. (Score 1) 395

by ZachPruckowski (#32483608) Attached to: Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

Nevertheless they reported the truth and that is what Apple is punishing them for. If Gizmodo had just made up the entire story they would be at WWDC just like all the other tech rags out there.

Correct. If they had just made up the story, they would not have purchased stolen Apple property, and thus Apple probably wouldn't have made them pay for their tickets.

Common sense tells you that if journalists only publish stories that please the companies they are writing about, many important stories will remain hidden in the dark.

Most of the press outlets attending WWDC have published stories that displeased Apple in one way or another, and they still get free tickets. If there's really an important story out there, any one of those press outlets would cover it, and would come out far ahead even if Apple made them buy their own WWDC tickets.

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