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Comment Re:Why the hell is this on Slashdot?! (Score 2) 338

Science, tech, math, and computing are all greatly influenced by US government policies. (Okay, maybe math not as much.) If the manner of electing the most influential US politician is not stuff that matters, then what is?

Also, if you're implicitly playing the "how slashdot used to be" card, I love to break it to you: slashdot has always cared about and commented on US politics.

Comment Re:Nost != pirate (Score 1) 266

I'm not sure about the legality of white-rooming a reverse engineer of intellectual property, but Blizzard definitely owns the intellectual property rights of WoW, and they own your client as well. Check their ToS, it specfically says that you do not own the client software, and are paying for a license of it, to be used against their servers and ONLY their servers. So by running it against Nostalrius servers, you are violating the ToS.

I haven't read through the original ToS, and I agree it's totally possible that the ToS states that the client is only to be used with official Blizz servers. However, I feel that's something consumers should be shielded from by consumer protection laws. When I originally bought WoW, I paid money for the game itself and additionally paid for a monthly subscription to the server. I feel that makes it very clear that I owned a copy of the client. To say that the ToS changes those clear expectations is unfair, especially when I was only presented with the ToS *after* paying for the game.

Consumer protection laws exist because there's an imbalance of power between an individual consumer making a purchase and a well-financed corporation writing a ToS and enforcing it through expensive litigation. If Blizzard were to allow me to keep paying for a subscription to the game I purchased, they would have an argument, but they abandoned the client that I explicitly paid for.

Comment Re:Expected different (Score 2) 266

It has no control over what other people connect their clients to.

Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, the 1.12 WoW client refers to an editable, plaintext file ( to decide what server to connect to. Blizzard gave users the ability to choose which server to connect to, and now they are mad that users exercised that ability to connect to reverse-engineered servers.

Comment Nost != pirate (Score 5, Informative) 266

Calling Nostalrius a pirate server is not accurate. Nostalrius is a reverse engineered server that works with the official Blizzard WoW 1.12 client. I've played on Nost for the past year, and the overwhelming majority of players I've played with paid for retail vanilla WoW subscriptions back in the day. Sure, I can't find my original discs and had to download a copy of the 1.12 client, but I still contend that I have both a legal and moral license to still use that client.

If Blizzard were to offer a vanilla subscription, I would gladly sign up. (Well, maybe before they C&D'd Nost.) However, since they don't offer such a subscription, running a private server should be allowed as an exemption to the DMCA. The EFF previously petitioned the Library of Congress to add an exemption to the DMCA to allow users to reverse engineer server-side controls once games have been abandoned. The Library of Congress granted the exemption for simple matters like server-side authentication methods, but it was limited to allowing local, single-player gaming to continue. It does not apply for MMORPGs that require server-side interaction. However, this ignores the possibility of using a paid-for client with a reverse-engineered server, something I feel should be legal.

Comment Re:Fuck the SFPD (Score 1) 464

You were in jail "on a lie", so it wasn't the officers fault, it was your accuser.

I screwed up and left that part out of the story. I was accused of felony battery against a police officer. The officer alleged that I bumped into him on a busy train platform. When he started questioning me and I wasn't sufficiently submissive to his ego, he arrested me.

Comment Fuck the SFPD (Score 5, Interesting) 464

This hits very close to home for me. I was also arrested for felony battery and held by the SFPD. (The San Mateo County sheriffs, who police Caltrain, were the ones to make the arrest, but I was taken to the SFPD jail.) That's the only time I've ever been in jail, and it seriously fucked with me. I always thought that I would be able to handle jail/prison - hah, wrong! It's a completely dehumanizing experience.

When I first got there, I was thrown in the drunk tank and left for hours. (After a false felony battery charge, why not a false drunk in public charge?) Like Ian, I couldn't find out anything about my situation. The guards refused to answer any of my questions. There was a phone in the cell, but it was next to useless because everyone I called was unable to navigate the byzantine collect call system. (I briefly wrote about this in a previous comment in an earlier story.) The only things to do were to ponder how truly fucking scary it would be if I were eventually tried and convicted or stare at the ceiling and wonder if the stains were feces or peanut butter from the disgusting sandwiches they provided. I'm a self-confident, mentally-stable person, but that started evaporating disturbingly fast.

Things got a little better for me once they moved me from the drunk tank to a regular cell. I finally made some progress on getting bail. They took my mugshot and started processing the fingerprint/background checks. At this point, at least there was a light at the end of the tunnel. While things were looking up for me, at this point I started seeing the more fucked up shit other people were going through. The majority of the people in my new cell were making phone calls to anyone who would answer (this phone made local calls free) trying to scrounge together bail. While I was mad as hell that I was throwing away >$2,000 in bail (10% of the $25k that Ian mentioned), I'm well-off and would have spent far more to get the hell out of there. This was a Friday night, and you wouldn't get arraigned until Monday morning if you couldn't make bail. It was heartbreaking to watch these guys make call after call for bail money that they just didn't have. In retrospect, maybe I should have helped them out, but at the time I was doing my best to keep to myself.

The low point for me was one point when I saw a number of guards rushing to some situation. I couldn't see what was going on, but it was a few minutes of a lot of shouting and one voice yelping in pain. I then saw 5-6 officers manhandling an inmate to lead him to a cell. They were forcing him to do some reverse crabwalk sorta thing with his wrists chained down by his ankles, all while he's clearly in pain and protesting that he didn't do anything. This is when it really dawned on me how much these corrupt fucks can control your lives. I was confined to this cell of thick glass and concrete because of a lie. Once in jail, there's virtually nothing stopping them from using further lies to justify abuse. I have no clue if the inmate actually did something wrong or was being abused by sadistic guards, but I sure as hell wasn't going to believe the guards (who are sheriffs) just after being falsely arrested by one of their fellow officers.

Eventually my bail went through, the background check came back clean, and I was going to be released soon. For some reason I don't understand, they again transferred me to another cell. When we got there, it was full of what I stereotyped as mentally ill homeless people. One dude was lying on the floor drooling and shaking. I could not deal with this and froze up. Ignoring that this man clearly needed to be in a hospital instead of a jail, all I could do was ask to go back to the previous cell. Thankfully, it wasn't a sheriff but an administrative employee moving me around at this point, and he was sympathetic enough to take me back to the previous cell. That was the only shred of humanity I saw from anyone who worked at the jail, and it's not a coincidence that it came from someone who isn't a police officer.

I totally admit that I am incredibly privileged and had a walk in the park compared to pretty much everyone else who goes to jail. I wasn't beaten by the cops. I didn't have any bad interactions with any of the other accused. I spent a total of ~10 hours in jail. When I showed up for arraignment, the charges had already been dropped. (#crimewhilewhite) Most people go through far, far worse experiences. But that's the point. It was less horrible for me, but it was still easily the most traumatic experience of my life. There's a great quote from Dune Messiah: "Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy." Taking someone to jail is doing great violence to them; sentencing them to years or decades of prison is a truly awesome amount of violence. However, the majority of the population has no concept of this power and is completely irresponsible in their delegation of this power to corrupt institutions with little to no oversight.

I don't know how to end this, so I'll leave with two thoughts:

RIP Ian, and thanks for the first distro I ever installed

And, as always, fuck the police

Comment Re:Dammit, slashdot! (Score 1) 238

I did preview, as I always do, and it doesn't preview the subject line. Also, if you put "2 > 4" in the comment section, you don't need to escape the '>' character, so why should the subject be different?

So you're admitting, on a site supposedly for techies, that you didn't bother to take 30 seconds and test this for yourself before going straight to the flaming?

Comment Re:Good I guess (Score 4, Insightful) 173

I was arrested for contempt of cop once, and I had a similar experience. When I tried to call my family, they all told me that they got an automated recording with instructions to create an account and pay for the collect call to a cell phone. While they were trying to navigate this onerous system for the opportunity to pay exorbitant amounts of money to talk to me, I'm sitting in a jail cell wondering if I'm ever going to get a hold of them.

Getting arrested is traumatic enough already, and the assholes trying to wring dollars out of a captive audience make it that much worse. Kudos to the FCC for taking a significant step to remedy the problem.

Comment Re:Where is Dice's soul? (Score 1) 266

Why make a change (that no one wants, no one asked for) to a UI element that's served perfectly fine for 15+ years? Certainly it's not for us, the audience. Please Dice, explain.

Why? Because Dice is a bunch of short-sighted, greedy assholes.

The "read more" link has been in the same place since the beginning of time. We've all been conditioned over many years to click on that exact location. Now, if you click there, you'll share the article on various social networks. Gotta get that free advertising!

Dice, on behalf of our collective good memories of /., go fuck yourself.

Comment Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 5, Informative) 451

Not only do automated cars not panic, but they can notify and coordinate with other cars on the road. With human drivers, even if you spot the obstacle up ahead, what's to prevent the asshole behind you from rear-ending you as you brake? With automated cars, the braking car can signal the cars behind it, and they can start applying the brakes before it's even humanly possible to react.

Automated cars will surely not be perfect, but human drivers have an atrocious safety record.

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