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Comment Re:Well (Score 2) 406

Well, Steve Jobs spent at least a few years pitching macs while running NextStep on his personal ThinkPad (1998 to around the time of OS X release in 2001). Not quite the same, since NextStep in a way represented the future of the product. But still, there's no better to way to reinforce the perception that the current direction of the company is a dead end than for the CEO to not use the company's products.

Comment Re:If it violates an amendment (Score 1) 312

I don't believe a constitutional amendment has ever been amended. But I am seriously considering going to law school to find out.

You don't need to go to law school, only high school. Crack open a history book (they still teach history in schools, right?), and read about Prohibition and its repeal (specifically the 18th and 21st amendments).

Intel

Microsoft Lifts XP Mode Hardware Requirement 205

An anonymous reader writes "This week, Microsoft published a patch that allows Windows XP Mode to run on PCs without hardware-assisted virtualization. Which begs the question: Why the bizarro requirement in the first place? Was it an honest attempt to deliver an 'optimal' user experience? Or simply a concession to the company's jilted lover, Intel Corporation — 'a kind of apology for royally screwing up with the whole Windows Vista “too fat to fit” debacle,' as the blog post puts it."
Crime

Sumo Wrestler Steals Cash Machine From Moscow Shop 43

timothy writes "Anyone skeevy and devious enough can buy online an ATM skimmer from some underhanded maker of same, but why not cut out the middleman, and just take the cash directly? (Also, if you're going to attempt to stop him, can I have your watch when you are dead?)"

Comment Re:PEBAAC (Score 1) 1146

I can't begin to tell what the GP post was trying to say. I will say this, however: Cars don't have emergency brakes these days. They have "parking brakes". Sure, you can try to use it in an emergency, but it's not for nothing that all references in the manuals and other documentation call it a "parking brake".

In the case of the 2004-2009 Prius, the pedal for the parking brake is hooked directly to a cable that goes straight to the rear drum brakes. That means it will work fine in an emergency, but remember, these are only the rears, and they're drums (except the touring edition). It still might work in many emergency situations, but I don't know if that's enough to stop a car that thinks you're flooring it.

Comment Re:Not driver error? bzzt - wrong! (Score 1) 1146

The Prius is a hybrid. It can move with the electric motor without ever starting the gasoline one.

And yes, that could be done completely by the computer.

Problem is, it can't be done when the battery is physically disconnected from the electric motor. When you turn the Prius off, there's a big honkin' relay that actually cuts the supply from the traction battery to the motor. That relay doesn't get connected until the start button gets pressed with a valid key present, plus about a couple of dozen more checks. For a Prius that's actually shut off to start moving would require a cascade of failures to occur just to even get the battery reconnected to the motor. Then, once that happens, the ECU would have to shift itself out of park, which it's designed not to do unless the brake pedal is depressed. So, again, a couple of failures have to occur simultaneously for that to happen.

A much more likely scenario is that someone gets out of the car and forgets to turn the car off because the engine's already stopped. Not saying it's impossible for what the GP described to happen. It's just about a billion times more likely for the driver to screw it up. Occam's razor and all that.

The Military

Airborne Laser Successfully Tracks, Hits Missile 287

fructose writes "The Airborne Laser managed to acquire, track, and illuminate a test missile a few days ago. According to the press release, the Boeing plane 'used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif ... issued engagement and target location instructions to the beam control/fire control system ... fired its two solid-state illuminator lasers to track the target and ... fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the target, simulating a missile intercept.' The sensors on board the missile confirmed the 'hit.' Michael Rinn, ABL's program director, said, 'Pointing and focusing a laser beam on a target that is rocketing skyward at thousands of miles per hour is no easy task, but the Airborne Laser is uniquely able to do the job.' The next steps will be to test the high-power laser at full strength in flight and do a complete system test later this year. Its success or failure will determine whether the project gets canceled. Looks like the Real Genius fans out there are finally living the dream."

Comment Re:Broken by design. (Score 1) 505

I have actually seen this happen at least a dozen times. Basically, the insurance company's processing software sees the parent as the subscriber, then sees the patient as the dependent with birthdate xx/xx/xxxx, sees the second service for a dependent with the same birthdate, and immediately denies the second service. They never think to check the name or flag it for review or anything. If their software even checked the gender on the 2 patients, that would at least let the cases of male/female fraternal twins through.

Microsoft

Windows 7 RCs Shut Down To Force Updates 414

nk497 writes "The release candidate for Microsoft Windows 7 will expire June 2010, and the software giant will let users know they need to pay to upgrade by shutting down the system every two hours for three months. According to Microsoft: "The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you'll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You'll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use.""

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