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Comment Re:Size is not as important as resolution (Score 1) 375

20" UXGA displays do have one advantage to 21.3"s: Rotate 'em by 90 degrees and they neatly flank a 30" WQXGA display. 4960x1600 perfectly lined up Pixels is what awesome looks like.
And if you arrange them right (20", 30", 20" side-by-side), you get a huge center area for whatever you're focusing on plus enough screen real estate for whatever you're monitoring in the background (Or need to have an occasional look at.)

Comment Re:If you've nothing to hide... (Score 3, Insightful) 878

In a working direct democracy, the government cannot pass legislation that'll piss a majority of the people off. Unfortunately, and that's not even limited to the US of A, a lot of people are amazingly stupid. But to get back to your examples:

How about another tax hike

Roads, schools, firemen and, well, every other public service need funding. If backed by valid reasons, few people will contest a tax hike.

how about making driking and driving laws so strict that using mouthwash 10 minutes before driving to work will put you over the legal limit

You don't get convicted on a breathalyzer readout (not in Europe, anyways. The strange things you folks overseas do are, well, strange). You'll get taken to the nearest hospital, lose a couple drops of blood and with a bit of a delay you'll be on your way without a charge. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash before your next important appointment and you're good. And again, most people prefer a couple of mouthwash-related blood alcohol tests to hordes of drunk people in control (or lack thereof) of two tons of speeding metal each. Cars are dangerous. Operating dangerous machinery while drunk is deadly.

how about the war on drugs and the laws against certain harmless ones like Pot

That one is quite sad. Basically it boils down to dumb people being afraid of things they don't understand. It's not entirely the politicians' fault, though. Check the voting records of, say, Switzerland, where public votes have been had: the disappointing turnout was some 65% of naysayers. Broaden your horizon: pot consumers tend to be in the 15-30 age bracket, and there's a whole bunch of voters aged 30+ and lots of them don't see a reason to legalize.

how about all the regulations that drive up the costs of consumer goods

Can you spell Nanny State? A lot of people do and really like the concept of it. In any case, it's easier to just regulate everything than find a great balance; and it's easier to just nod things through than propose a better alternative.

how about the laws about speed on straight roads in the middle of nowhere with no traffic

As far as I know, none of the satellite-based have left their trial stages. Save for those, you're good to go: as long as you are concentrated enough to see and react to any speeding cams, patrol cars and wild life from far enough, none of these will bother you. It's quite logical: If you speed only as much as you can actually handle, you won't be arrested because you'll already have slowed down to the speed limit in the event of a checkpoint. If you couldn't manage that, you were demonstrably going faster than you can handle and should get ticketed.
In any case, speeding cams get approval ratings of around 70% in the UK. Speed limits probably even higher. This is not the government working against you, it's the government working for the majority of voters.

Comment Re:tell em how you feel... (Score 1) 220

The card companies hate that.

They don't. They get around 2-3% of every transaction, which is quite enough to make them very profitable. Of course, charging you 15% APR on way too much credit is even more profitable, but not required. If you want to piss them off (and can take a bit of a dive in your credit score), take up one of the numerous "0% APR over 12 months" offers and clear the card right out. Expect to be charged $5 per withdrawal, so head to the bank counter and get those $10k or whatever you're approved for in one swoop instead of ten transactions at the ATM. Deposit all of it into a high-yield savings account (2-3% are quite realistic) or, if you're feeling really ballsy, stocks*. After a year, pay off your $10k in credit card debt and keep the $2-300. Or, if you've gotten another "0% APR" offer, get it and use it to pay off the other card, netting you another 12 months of interest-free capital to play with; totalling $400-$650 with no risk or associated cost.

Oh, and 'cause this is slashdot, we'll need a car analogy: Paying off in full at the end of the month is like hailing a taxi, having it drive to the airport and not tipping: very much okay. Aggregating debt is like taking the taxi at the very back of the row at a train station, having yourself driven to the airport and tipping generously. What I've described above is catching the cab at the front of the line (after the driver has been waiting in there for an hour or so), having yourself driven around the block, getting out after half a mile and not tipping. Heh.

* Stocks are very profitable for long-term investments. If, after a year, your portfolio has not made any progress, you will be deeper in the shitter than you'd be if you'd have stuck to your own cash. You will not be breaking even against a 15% APR on your capital. Do NOT invest more in stocks than you have on hand and can spare. Mortgages, nest eggs and retirement savings (after passing 50 or so) are not in that group.

Comment Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (Score 1) 417

some of HTC's "enhancements" to Android have been anything but

True. To every upside, there's probably a downside. HTC's keyboard is a great example: a lot better when it comes to entering numbers, worse when it comes to exotic umlauts or accents and it lacks the context-sensitive "Next"/"Done"/"Search"/":-)" key. The parts of Sense I'd really like to see on my Nexus One are the Phone App and mayhaps the calendar widget, the rest doesn't strike me as too useful.

On another note, Eclaire in GP should obviously be Eclair, and all instances of [Ee]clair should be FroYo. My bad.

Comment Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (Score 1) 417

On my Nexus One (running Eclaire right now), I can:

- Copy and paste within the mail app by pressing the menu button, and using the "Select Text" feature.
- Copy text messages with a long press onto the message, then "Copy Message Text"
- Browse anything I've tried so far. If you'll get me a link to your crashy MSDN page, I'll try it.

The whole smoothness aspect has made a lot of progress from 2.1 to 2.2. Before, animations and all did feel slightly sluggier than on an iPhone 3GS; running eclair everything is as smooth as it gets. Applications launch in what amounts to no wait time. Absolutely marvelous.

Comment Re:He Won! (Score 1) 467

Chip off a corner of the Scantron sheet (ensure correct orientation), then, for the visually impaired, distribute a plastic mask/stencil along with the sheet. On that mask, include the candidate names in braille, each next to a hole through which you can directly write onto the sheet.
Such masks are easily available with holes for each line (instead of small holes and braille). Adapting them is trivial. If cost is an issue, replace the candidate name on the stencil with numbers, throw in an instruction sheet in braille with the name and number of each candidate and you can reuse the stencil.
Write-ins are slightly more complicated if the voter is unable to write by hand. But at that point, expecting a trusted person to help doesn't seem too over-boarding to me.

Comment Re:Fake ID? (Score 1) 615

In most of the western world, prepaid SIMs have only been sold to users with some sort of proper ID for a couple of years now. I'm fairly sure this is mandated through the whole EU. Most countries even have some sort of nationwide identification cards, which tend to be the single or one of very few ways to, well, prove your identity.

Comment Opera on Android: been there, done that. (Score 1) 170

Opera Mini (5 beta, available from the market) can make use of Opera Link, keeping bookmarks and co. in sync through all desktop and mobile instances configured for the same user.

In addition to what Fx and Fx Home do, it also includes a fast rendering engine, better UI, snappier JavaScript, a better developer console, an awesomer bar and a bunch of other stuff. With alternatives like Chrome and Opera, when can we finally put that XULly abomination to rest?

Comment Re:Don't worry (Score 5, Informative) 175

That's just the User-Agent string. The actual fingerprint consists of that and a big bunch of other headers your browser sends out with each request. Language, preferred encoding, plugins; screen resolution, your installed fonts and so on.Changing your standard browser's user-agent to something like you quoted above is a surefire way to be even more unique.
Check the panopticlick page for your details. Keep in mind their "bits of identifying information" only apply to a single header. A bit of work and identifying over all of these fields is easily done. Throw in a bit of extra work and users can be singled out even after they change one or two of 'em.
Summing all the lines together, I can get some 70 bits of identifying info out of my (almost worst-case) setup: Ubuntu 9.10 running a snapshot of Opera 10.54 with a couple of extra fonts and a weird screen resolution.Cut away user-agent and plugins and we're still at some 35, more than IPv4 addresses out there.

The Military

Submission + - Critics Say US Antimissle Defense Flawed, Dangerou

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that President Obama’s plans for reducing America’s nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran’s missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses which last year he called “proven and effective," but now a new analysis being published by two antimissile critics at MIT and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the a rocket-powered interceptor known as the SM-3. The Pentagon asserts that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests but a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis, finds only one or two successful intercepts — for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent. Most of the approaching warheads, they say, would have been knocked off course but not destroyed and while that might work against a conventionally armed missile, it suggests that a nuclear warhead might still detonate. “The system is highly fragile and brittle and will intercept warheads only by accident, if ever,” says Dr. Postol, a former Pentagon science adviser who forcefully criticized the performance of the Patriot antimissile system in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Dr. Postol says the SM-3 interceptor must shatter the warhead directly, and public statements of the Pentagon agency seem to suggest that it agrees. In combat, the scientists added, “the warhead would have not been destroyed, but would have continued toward the target" causing a warhead to fall short or give it an added nudge, with the exact site of the weapon’s impact uncertain. “It matters if it’s Wall Street or Brooklyn,” says Postol, “but we won’t know in advance.”"

Submission + - Mobile 'Remote Wipe' Thwarts Secret Service (

bennyboy64 writes: Smartphones that offer the ability to 'remote wipe' are great for when your device goes missing and you want to delete your data so that someone else can't look at it, but not so great for the United States Secret Service, ZDNet reports. The ability to 'remote wipe' some smartphones such as BlackBerry and iPhone was causing havoc for law enforcement agencies, according to USSS special agent Andy Kearns, speaking on mobile phone forensics at a security conference in Australia.

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