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Comment Re:Keep the phone ban (Score 1) 221

I've had a new phone see the battery drained completely because I forgot to put it in airplane mode and left it in my pack. It would get warm (much warmer than when in airplane mode), which I have always presumed was because the radio power was cranked up to max while it tried to find a usable tower.

Comment Re:Best of both worlds (Score 1) 221

I agree with you on needing some common sense, but the rules didn't allow for it, and the flight crew has little choice but to enforce the rules. It's one thing if they have some plausible deniability like being able to claim they didn't see the one passenger, but allowing everyone to use their devices will inevitably get out and the FAA would look into it, probably fining the airline and thereby getting the crew in trouble.

Keeping people from getting up is a different story. Pilots don't always get that warning of when they'll be able and expected to move. In that situation, an aircraft ahead of them might decide to return to the gate to refuel or disembark passengers. In that case, the entire line will move up, and the pilot gets only as much notice as the number of visible aircraft ahead that might be moving (which in heavy rain may only be a few planes). He's not going to call back to the cabin to make sure everyone is sitting down before releasing the brakes and spooling the engine.

Comment Re:Best of both worlds (Score 1) 221

It's not a Boolean AND, it's distributive, as in 'the installation of an amateur station must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft and the operation of an amateur station must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.' Whether it's physically installed to the aircraft or not, you need the pilot-in-command's permission to operate it, something that you're certainly not going to get on a commercial aircraft.

Comment Cycle Trooper Losing his Helmet (Score 1) 157

I don't recall if I saw this scene in the theater, during "Jedi's" initial run, or in preview clips shown on TV, but:

There's a scene in Return of the Jedi in which Luke goes mano a mano with a storm trooper riding one of those cycles used to zip around Endor.

Luke knocks the guy's helmet off, revealing a dark haired guy with a rather skinny face.

I do know that this brief reveal was cut out of the sky cycle chase as it was shown on the Laserdisc.

Could it be on this new find?

Comment Re:We have. It's called the X Window System. (Score 3, Insightful) 419

I've been in IT for coming about 18 years, working with end-users to one degree or another the entire time, and I've never met anyone who didn't understand that the apps they used under Citrix, RDP, or VNC were running remotely and just being drawn locally. They may have been frustrated that they couldn't access local resources (this can be good or bad), but few if any of them thought the programs were installed locally.

It should be dead simple for most people to use a remote desktop capability without much thought on how to set it up because most people are not interested in anything other than the apps appearing on their screen. Microsoft has refined this well enough that it's used in enterprise environments large and small with enough auto-configuration that it will adapt to the local capabilities but can be overridden by a power user if so desired. Anyone who wants to see Microsoft's dominance at least challenged should accept that this is the way it needs to be.

I understand that X does its job well. But there are those who believe that the system in place does not do it well enough. Wayland's devs are in that group and are trying to address it. What concerns me is the group of people who refuse to accept that it should be done any other way and actively try to shoot down alternatives, even before they've had any real chance to use it. That contradicts the foundation of the open source community.

Comment Re:We have. It's called the X Window System. (Score 4, Interesting) 419

I agree that we have an existing solution, but to claim that there's no reason to replace it is to claim that no one can come up with something better. I agree that it's well-supported, that it can perform well, and that VNC is a hack. But I'm not sure that it's true that it's well-understood, especially given that people are far more likely to handle remote desktops with VNC than with X, even in environments where people largely use Linux instead of Windows. That prevalence of VNC over X suggests to me a serious gap in understanding of the community at large.

This leads me to think that while X is still a good solution, it may not be the best solution, and that's why I'm watching Wayland with curiosity.

Comment Re: We beat them because the EU has no DMCA (Score 1) 285

They have definitely attempted to tackle it at a technical level. Part of installing Blizzard games is giving consent for it to look for cheating programs. Support for macro keys such as found on Logitech keyboards has been broken numerous times (and I think is broken right now) as they allow a keyboard macro to perform exactly one action that would be performed as a player clicking a button. It can be a keypress combination (such as Alt-Shift-4 or whatever you have it mapped to), but especially for combat, they don't want that one keypress doing a string of actions, especially not timed.

They've also been going after bots since well before their peak player count. I've seen news of lawsuits going back for at least six or seven years.

WoW is certainly in decline (if they could upgrade the entire game's graphics to be like Pandaria, it might draw a few people in or back, but the cost probably exceeds the potential income) and they need something to take over, but these enforcement actions aren't new by any means.

Comment Re:Temperate native land? (Score 1) 50

I'm not sure what part of California would have homes without furnaces. Every part of California I've lived in or visited has the capability of daytime peaks of around 50F and nighttime lows in the mid-30s, and that's in the warmer parts. Deserts often reach freezing temps during the winter, and the hills and mountains can get pretty chilly, too. Even San Diego can get some winter temps low enough to justify a house heater of some sort.

Comment Unboxing Flickr Set (Score 1, Informative) 47

SF author / design maven Bruce Sterling picked up one at the Maker Faire and posted an Unboxing photo set:

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/brucesterling/sets/72157636182707015/with/10085336073/

Scroll to the bottom for the first picture in the set.

The display box is rigged with a sound chip that plays portentous music when the board is removed.

Comment Nothing to worry about. I'm sure that . . . (Score 1) 202

. . . the targeting algorithms will be vetted by legal teams every bit as diligent and committed to human rights and Constitutional law as the people in FISA courts who have helped keep the NSA from misusing their powers.

In related news, if you have legitimate business in areas of cities frequented by anti-war protestors, you can purchase a RapidPass Trusted Citizen(tm) badge which will eliminate time-consuming drop-and-freeze inspections by SecuriCorps (tm) PeacePal(tm) hover-drones. F%$ing hippies need not apply! (We'll know.)

Comment Make them ugly! (Score 2) 194

Make the battlefield robots look like gnarly insects, with stink generators that make being around them unpleasant. If they can "talk," make them sound like tedious doofuses.

Of course, the enemy could counter by making their robots able to shape-shift -- as soon as they are out of site of their own side -- into beautiful, elegant shapes that no one would want to kill.

Uh . . . .

Cripes, I just wrote the background for an anime series, didn't I?

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