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Comment Re:Video Games (Score 1) 447

Promo boxes that were intentionally designed to be used as such would come from the same source as the real product, and would therefore have the correct spelling on the packaging.

No, because promo boxes are necessarily released before the product itself has launched, and therefore before the packaging is finalized. It's not expected that people are going to be picking up the promo boxes and reading the fine print, so it generally doesn't get inspected very closely if the overall design looks okay.

Comment Re:Video Games (Score 1) 447

Of course we all know this is bullshit, as Intel would have no need to fake their own boxes for a demo model, nor would they use modeled plastic for a HSF, they would just put a bad binned chip in the box and be done with it.

Well, if the boxes did come from Intel, they're not "fakes", are they? Even if they have typos and don't have real holograms, they're still "real" boxes, just demo boxes. I wouldn't expect a demo box to have a real hologram on it, since those holograms are supposed to be the mark of a real product.

I don't know how Intel uses demos, but many manufacturers will create demos for store display or other reasons (for use at conferences or whatever) pre-release. The boxes usually aren't final because packaging is generally the last thing that gets done, after the product is actually created and ready to ship.

It seems believable enough to me that these were demos created for pre-launch display somewhere, and somehow they got mixed in with the real product. It could still have been malicious - somebody could have intentionally swapped a demo box for a real CPU and then kept the real one to sell or use - but I'm just saying that Newegg's explanation sounds plausible enough.

Comment Re:Video Games (Score 1) 447

Because they sell new games for a higher price than the used games, but they remove all of the games from the cases.

All of the new games I have ever bought at Gamestop have come in factory wrap. (And I didn't say "shrinkwrap", because game manufacturers don't use shrinkwrap, they use fitted cellophane.)

I definitely would not buy a game for new price that wasn't wrapped. But I've never gotten one that way. You go up to the counter and ask for a game and they either take one out of the case behind the counter (where they keep a stack of all the more popular games) or they go and get one out of the back. I've never had them tell me to bring the case from the shelf up so they could put the disc in it and give it to me like a used game.

Comment Re:Clever of someone (Score 1) 200

Or just get rid of the stupid two party winner-takes-all system. It makes it hard to have any true reform, because the choices are too limited.

Last I remember, there were approximately 20 serious candidates at the start of the last election cycle. I'm not sure how the choices are "limited".

Oh, you mean the guy you wanted didn't win? Tough luck. The same would be true if all 20 went to the end too. You've got a one in 20 chance. Most of the time you're going to be disappointed, no matter how many candidates are actually on the ballot come general election day.

Comment Re:undefinitized contracts (Score 1) 200

I'm not going to defend the constellation program, but they could have thrown the baby out without also including the bathwater.

What I'm saying is cancel constellation if you must, but replace it with something that has a chance in hell of working and is NASA controlled. I'm sorry, but I haven't seen a private contractor yet that's anywhere even close to NASA's level of expertise in launching men into space. NASA's not perfect, but what they do have is 50 years of experience in space - no private company can match that.

To put it another way, the US government has just pulled funding from the most experienced agency in the field, and is giving it instead to a bunch of unproven upstarts. That is generally not a smart move, in any industry.

Cancel constellation, go back to the drawing board if you have to. But don't waste 50 years worth of knowledge and experience like this.

I truly believe this is the end of the United States' commitment to space exploration. And without us there, somebody else will beat us back to the moon, and Mars.

Comment Re:What is this "entitlement mentality"? (Score 2, Interesting) 200

Or am I not understanding this Medicare program, and is it mainly spent on cosmetic surgery or something?

You're understanding Medicare perfectly.

What you are not understanding is the selfishness and short-sightedness of many Americans. This is a country that elected Bush president, after all (once, at least).

Many Americans look at a program like Medicare, see that they personally don't need it, and therefore think it's a waste of money to fund it. Only when they do come to depend on it do they then hold onto it like grim death. And they often don't even see the contradiction there.

I actually saw a sign somebody had painted at a Tea Party rally a while back that said "Don't raid Medicare to pay for socialized medicine!" which I think just about sums it up.

Comment Re:What is this "entitlement mentality"? (Score 1) 200

Any money they can *take* from the government is rightfully theirs? Methinks you have it backwards. The government doesn't have their own money, they have that of taxpayers. How can one take one's own money?

a) He didn't say "any money they can take from the government", he said any thing. You're reading things the way you want to read them. He was talking about products and services, not money.

b) When you pay your taxes, that is no longer your money. This is a fundamental concept that many people seem to misunderstand. It is no different than paying for any other service. If you pay a security company to guard your house, is that your money once you've paid it to them? Of course not - you gave them money to provide a service, they provide that service and then the money is theirs. Government works no differently. The funny thing is that it's always the capitalists, for whom this concept should be the simplest, that have the hardest time understanding it.

Now you're going to say "but I don't use any government services, so they're stealing my money!" to which the obvious reply is two-fold. Because first of all, you're using government services whether you think you are or not - what do you think pays for all that military hardware "protecting our freedom" in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Who do you think paid for your schooling? Who built the roads you drive on? Who provides the police that protect you?

Secondly, this is not money you're directly paying for any specific service for you personally. Think of it like union dues. It goes to the collective. If everybody could just pay whatever they wanted for individual programs, there'd be total chaos. We live in a representative democracy on purpose - it was not a mistake that our Constitution (which people like you like to hold up whenever it's convenient) was written in such a way that government is not controlled directly by the people, but by representatives who are tasked with providing for the general welfare of the union as a whole. This is specifically intended to filter the selfish whims of the people - and the founding fathers people like you hold up as beacons of light designed the government this way.

I feel like I'm conducting an eighth grade civics class here, but sometimes it seems like that's what's necessary. I guess if I've got a complaint about where my taxes are going, it's that nobody bothers teaching basic government concepts - or even common sense - in US schools anymore.

Comment Re:false dichotomy (Score 1) 200

That's why the major push is to FORCE everyone to buy coverage, meaning healthy young people will poor money into the system paying for resources they don't want or need.

I hope you go to sleep one night "healthy" and wake up the next day with a collapsed lung like I did. We'll see what you think about health care coverage you "don't need" then.

Comment Re:Your chart lies (Score 3, Interesting) 200

What else would you expect from the New York Times? The chart is highly misleading.

The "mandatory spending" is only mandatory because of the !@&#(* spending bills that REQUIRE certain monies to be spent on certain things.

Uh, yes? In what way is this misleading?

I realize that during the Bush years, Republicans didn't think laws were much more than general guidelines. But we're back in the real world now, buddy.

Our (Democrat Party controlled) government has been spending like a drunken sailor with no regard whatsoever how to come up with the funds to meet our spending obligations. Democrats will typically point to the Bush administration and say "Look at what he spent!". Does one irresponsible act warrant another?

When eight years of deficit spending got us into this mess, it's going to take about that long to get us back out of it.

Were you not listening when some of us were saying it's going to take 20 years to undo the damage Bush was doing to this country during his two terms in office? He took a surplus and turned it into the largest deficits this country has ever seen. And he did it during economic prosperity. How do you expect Obama to take a recession he inherited and turn that deficit spending around in a year?

The damage Bush did is going to take a long, long time to recover from. This should not be news to anyone.

Comment Re:false dichotomy (Score 3, Insightful) 200

The US spends far more on programs like SS and Medicare than it does on the Pentagon. Indeed, looking at the big items first would help. In order to support the existing medicare committments, with no further socialization of medicine, tax rates would have to reach 80% in my lifetime.

Quit pulling numbers out of your ass. That number you just quoted has zero basis in reality. Ok, how about this: in order to keep funding the military at the rate its growing, taxes will need to reach 90% in my lifetime. Top that!

And do you see that big chunk of the budget labeled "health"? Yeah, that's what the health care bill is designed to reduce. Without a health care bill, that chunk will only get bigger and bigger. It's amazing to me that some people don't understand this.

Comment Re:Just to put things into perspective... (Score 1) 630

Where's the story?

Especially as it relates to Slashdot. Not really seeing how a story about a government policy on alcohol prohibition 90 years ago is "news for nerds", nor how it affects "my rights online".

I'm all for stories like this being made public, but this is not the kind of thing I think most of us come here for.

Comment Re:Arm your citizens... (Score 1) 368

A $500 RC plane isn't going to be carrying any kind of load that can do any real damage.

Sure, you can pack an RC plane with some C-4 and just fly it kamikaze style into something, but it still couldn't be much more C-4 than the amount needed to blow the lock off a door. Explosives have weight, and RC planes can't carry much extra weight. Given the imprecision of flying one of these things any distance whatsoever, I would think you'd have to carry a tremendous amount of explosives to be able to reliably take out any sort of target.

I would think these would make for an extremely ineffective weapon. A truck bomb would be much more effective.

As for military drones, while it's fun to play "what-if", the reality is there's no practical way for anybody else to attack the US mainland with one of these. For one thing, they are extremely slow. For another thing, they are not stealthy. They would even show up on commercial radar. Heck, bottle rockets show up on commercial radar sometimes. And the FAA doesn't look kindly on unauthorized flights in commercial airspace.

That's not even mentioning the range. We fly drones in Afghanistan from Afghanistan. Where is somebody going to launch a drone attack on the United States from?

And lastly, drones are not difficult to shoot down. Lots of things are immune to heat-seeking missiles - that's why radar guided missiles exist. We've actually had several drones shot down ourselves, even in countries with zero radar coverage, zero opposing air force and zero air defense. These were shot down by guys looking up into the sky and getting off a lucky shot.

Look at it this way. How successful would you imagine a Tu-95 bomber run would be over the US mainland? I personally would expect that every one of them would be shot down - they'd be detected early, fighters would be scrambled, SAM sites alerted. Now replace the Tu-95 with a slower, less well armed drone with a lot less range. Why would you think it would actually be easier for a drone to get through?

I think we've got more important things to worry about, not least of which preparing for more conventional attacks from our enemies, or more "traditional" terrorist attacks.

Government

Secret Service Runs At "Six Sixes" Availability 248

PCM2 writes "ABC News is reporting that the US Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. 'Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating,' says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had 'concern for a while' about the issue."

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