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Comment Re:So it has come to this (Score 4, Interesting) 531

What makes you think the US Military, Cops, Sheriffs, etc. would attack their own people?

I was talking with a friend from Serbia about this a while back; for obvious reasons, he has a perspective on such matters that most Americans don't. I expressed my opinion that at least half, maybe more, of the US military would refuse to go along with an imposition of martial law against the US population, which would make such an action difficult or impossible. His answer gave me a lot of food for thought:

"When Milosevic cracked down, half the Army deserted overnight. Of those who were left, about half were too dumb to know what was going on, and the other half were the assholes, you know, the crazy ones who just wanted to kill people and they didn't care who. So Milosevic shipped the dumb ones off to border areas where they wouldn't get in the way, and then had the crazy ones go out and recruit more crazy ones, petty criminals and psychopaths who just didn't give a shit. And those were the ones who did the killing."

He was firmly of the opinion that the same thing would happen here. I really, really hope he's wrong ... but I can't say I'm as confident as I was before having that conversation.

Comment Re:gamefly wins to lose (Score 1) 147

If you're in the US, yes.

The relevant part of 17 USC 109:

[T]he owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.

Of course, it might not be the best business plan. There aren't a lot of video rental stores left. But if you can make it work, go for it.

Comment cause? (Score 1) 443

What am I missing here? On what grounds does the payment handler demand business details? Heck, if my bank asked for my business plan (I own a small company), I'd tell them to sod off.

Comment Re:Recognize? (Score 1) 70

Oh, don't worry, you'll be getting another big pile of taxpayers' cash from the socialist in the White House soon enough. BTW, I'm having trouble coming up with fake results for my latest destroy-Americans'-faith-in God-and-reduce-us-all-to-the-level-of-monkeys-to-pave-the-way-for-the-commie-muslim-takeover paper in the Journal Of Evilutionary Research; got any tips?

Comment Re:gamefly wins to lose (Score 1) 147

Well, in the US, at least, it's perfectly legal to rent ordinary retail DVDs. There are good reasons to go with a distributor, such as early access to copies so that they can be on shelves and ready to go ASAP, but if you're not getting prices lower than if you just got discs retail, and worse if you're locked into a requirements contract which precludes you from shopping around, I don't know if its worth it.

In any event, it seems to be a mostly moot point now.

Comment Re:Recognize? (Score 2) 70

(Yes, I am a biochemist.)

Well, then, obviously you're just part of the arrogant, insular, ivory-tower scientific priesthood, using fancy jargon to baffle and mislead people instead of terms acceptable to $RANDOM_SLASHDOT_USER! Probably to protect your revenue stream from payrolled articles and wasteful government grants, since as a scientist you spend a significant portion of your day rolling around naked on piles of money. You ivory-tower eggheads with your fancy degrees instead of real-world experience and common sense, I tell you ...

Comment Hmm (Score 1) 443

If someone could get a class action lawsuit on and get a judge to find that Paypal must pay interest at the rate of inflation when it freezes funds, it would pay better interest than a typical savings account. Just sayin'...

Comment Re:posthumous copyright (Score 1) 344

Well why not go back to the old system of granting copyrights for a fixed term of years? Then the copyright lasts as long as it lasts, whether the author dies or not. This means that everyone knows when the work can be expected to be in the public domain straight away, and can plan for it; authors, publishers, and third parties all.

Submission + - Quick look: NASA's ambitious asteroid grabbing mission (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: NASA's FY2014 budget proposal includes a plan to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid weighing about 500 tons and redirect it safely to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system where astronauts can visit and explore it. The mission is still in the early planning stages and NASA will host a workshop at the end of September to discuss potential approaches. Here’s a look at what the agency is planning so far.

Monster Storm Reveals Water On Saturn 31

cold fjord sends this news from NASA: "A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet -- has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence. A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm's explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from great depths. This finding, derived from near-infrared measurements by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the first detection at Saturn of water ice. The water originates from deep in Saturn's atmosphere. 'The new finding from Cassini shows that Saturn can dredge up material from more than 100 miles [160 kilometers],' said Kevin Baines, a co-author of the paper who works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 'It demonstrates in a very real sense that typically demure-looking Saturn can be just as explosive or even more so than typically stormy Jupiter.'"

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