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Comment Do it. (Score 1) 319

Do it.

While it's not much of a deterrent to this kind of garbage that we've come to expect from apple in the short term. I'll still take a decision 5-10 years from now that might humble them a bit.

Although, take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I use to pull for Apple, but I've got a growing distaste for the business practices of almighty Jobs. Not that any of this would really matter to Apple because I'm not, nor will I ever be, a customer unless or until they amend their ways! Come to think of it: I've got to be the least desireable customer out there. I'm not an early adopter, nor do I feel the slighted pressure to buy the new 'it' item. Frankly, I'll go out of my way to spite a company that I feel deserves it and do my best to make sure others do as well.
PC Games (Games)

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine 724

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Eurogamer: "Gamers who download upcoming PC exclusive The Witcher 2 illegally could receive a letter demanding they pay a fine or face legal action. If gamers refuse to pay the fine, which will be more than the cost of the game, they could end up in court, developer CD Projekt told Eurogamer. 'Of course we're not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies,' CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiski said. 'In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, "Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine." We are totally fair, but if you decide you will not buy it legally there is a chance you'll get a letter. We are talking about it right now.' Interestingly, The Witcher 2 will be released free of digital rights management – but only through the CD Projekt-owned digital download shop GOG.com. That means owners will be able to install it as many times as they like on any number of computers – and it will not requite an internet connection to run."

Comment My opinion, feel free to disagree! (Score 4, Insightful) 527

1. If alcohol is legal pot should be too. The former has far more potential for harm than the latter.
2. Half the population feels or has felt the law is contemptible and contemptible laws breed contempt for the law.
3. Pot should be regulated much the same as alcohol and cigarettes, in your home or licensed establishment. Obviously, one should not drive or engage in other potentially harmful activities when stoned. Common sense must prevail.
4. If governments wish, the level of THC in the product could be regulated in order to prevent ever more potent strains from being engineered.
5. Don't expect a huge tax windfall from legalizing pot, the stuff is dirt cheap to produce because it grows like a weed. Pun intended. Once the risk is removed, absent government mandated pricing competition will drive prices through the floor just like the rest of agriculture.
6. Stop putting people in jail for smoking pot. It makes no sense when places like California have such huge budgetary issues. A ballot initiative should be put to the people, de-criminalize or tax increase proportional to the cost of keeping all those locked up for the offense in jail. Halting the lock ups is really the only area you will see savings from legalization.
7. If Pot is legalized, then discourage smoking as a delivery method... Smoking is still harmful to your health.
8. At some point, it will happen so why not be ahead of the curve? The benefit is generally the greatest for the early adopter of these sorts of things.
9. No system is perfect. The best we can do is always try to make things better!
Censorship

Submission + - Has Digg been compromised? (alternet.org) 1

Socguy writes: Has Digg been compromised? Alternet is reporting massive censorship of sites like Digg, twitter, Stumbleupon and others by a group going by the name of Digg patriots. The process is simple: When a story is submitted that the group likes, they place it on a mailing list and thousands of members 'Digg' it. This means that it gains popularity and often rises to the main page where most of the viewers reside. When a story comes up that doesn't like, they, place it on a 'bury' mailing list and the membership down votes the story often to such an extent that it is removed from the upcoming section and can never make it to the main page. This group is reasonably well organized as they have gone so far as to develop their own tools to expedite this process.

Comment Re:As a Canadian (Score 1) 318

Not true... this January the GG of Canada had a choice to make about who would be the prime minister of Canada, when the current Prime minister approached her and told her that he wished to shut down parliament after something like three days. The opposition signed a powersharing deal in which they would be able to form a coalition government. Shuttering parliament was seen across the country as a political maneuver to avoid defeat. All eyes across the country turned to the GG as she was the arbiter who would ultimately decide who became prime minister.
Businesses

Submission + - Apple bigger than Microsoft (ap.org)

Socguy writes: The Associated press is reporting that 'Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the largest technology company in the world by market capitalization.' There is only one company in the world with a higher market value: Exxon Mobil.

Submission + - Economist calls for 'Open source' biology (economist.com)

Socguy writes: With the announcement that a team of researchers has created the first artificial life, the Economist has been pondering the implications of what this brave new frontier means when the power to build living organisms filters through to anyone with a laptop. Traditional methods of restricting and regulating dangerous technology has more or less worked so far, but the Economist thinks that this time may be different. They are calling for an open system where the 'good guys' can see and counter any dangerous organisms that are released accidentally or otherwise.

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=16163154&source=features_box_main

Comment Re:If you post before this (Score 4, Insightful) 379

No, they REPORT that they get 64 miles/gallon. Who verified this? Lots of startups make outrageous claims to suck in investors. Is this under optimal conditions? In the lab, the Prius gets amazing mileage too. How heavy is their prototype? That's one funky, aerodynamic looking car... why not use a standard automobile... you know, something that might actually be driven by you on your way to work.

Oh, but I'm sure when the technology never quite makes it to market, die hard conspiracy nuts will claim some Oil company bought the technology only to destroy it so they can sell more oil.

Comment Re:Troll summary. (Score 1) 385

The outrage is because no other power plant has the potential for essentially permanent environmental contamination. This is not helped by the fact that the industry is deliberately lying to government regulators. If we can't trust the industry to come clean with, what you describe as a 'so what' incident, how can we trust industry when it come to a major incident? Oh, and if you're not concerned about Trituim in your water, then I suggest you walk the walk and start drinking and bathing in it.

FYI, there is outrage over coal plants in general. But this is a story about nuclear plants, hence, people are talking about them.
Politics

Submission + - Why do so many Terrorists have Engineering Degrees (slate.com) 2

Socguy writes: Slate Magazine discusses the studies surrounding the issue of why so many of the terrorists have engineering degrees and comes to the conclusion that engineers and engineering students are much more likely to hold strong conservative and religious views than a general cross section of the public. Further, engineers tend to hold a particular mind-set that disdains ambiguity and compromise.

Terrorist organizations have long recognized that engineering departments are fertile ground for recruitment and have concentrated there efforts there. A 2005 report from British intelligence noted that Islamic extremists were frequenting college campuses, looking for "inquisitive" students who might be susceptible to their message. In particular, the report noted, they targeted engineers.

Submission + - Google plans to fix old versions of IE (slate.com)

Socguy writes: "Google plans to fix older versions of IE by swaping it's outdated rendering engine with one from their own browser. Google feels it has to do this in order to ensure the best possible user experience for the forthcoming Google Wave. When users of an older version of IE try to access Wave, they will be presented with a notice asking them to install 'Chrome Frame'. If users agree, the swap is carried out!"

Comment Re:The technology isn't important (Score 1) 150

Boys, let's not argue! Cost vs efficiency are both important, it's your application that determines which is more so. If you're planning to launch the things into space, the purchase cost is not going to be terribly important to you but if you're planning on selling solar accent lights through Wal-mart then you want the cheapest cells that you can get your hands on.

Comment The dissenting opinion (Score 1, Insightful) 853

I'm still not a fan of Nuclear power, however, I do understand it's current appeal. Yes, at the site of the plant, virtually no carbon is emitted. But this doesn't take into account mining and processing activities.

Safety
I fully understand that, like most accidents in the world, the majority of nuclear accidents were caused by human error. Unfortunately, humans aren't going to be cut out of the picture anytime soon. While extremely unlikely, the cost of failure at a nuclear facility is simply too high, and with every new reactor that is in operation the risk, however small, grows.

Waste

As much as government and industry wish to whitewash this issue, it remains unresolved. The fact remains that the world has a growing stockpile of material which requires careful storage and monitoring for hundreds of thousands of years. Most of the material is currently at temporary facilities and will have to be handled and moved at minimum to a permanent facility. I find that in most discussions of Nuclear power, almost nobody wants to talk about the ongoing cost of maintaining and storing the byproducts and anybody who expects industry to pick up that tab indefinitely is out of their mind. None of this cost is calculated into the cost of price of electricity generated. No, it will be dumped on government in the form of cleanups and public debt. Anyone who doubts this simply has to look at amount of cleanup the government is currently responsible for from industry long since moved on. Who's paying to build the current long term site? Which brings us to the concept of a permanent facility. I know /. is populated by lots of engineers who love nothing better than to undertake new technological challenges, however, a million years is too long of a timescale. This puts you in the realm of unforeseen earthquakes and meteor strikes and a host of 1 in 1 000 000 year events. Frankly, I find it unconscionable that we are willing dump such a tremendous problem in the laps of our children, especially when there is no guarantee that they will be in any position to actually fix any problems that might occur. Then there is that whole can of worms known as reprocessing, with the associated geopolitical implications.

unanswered questions
Finally, there remains one great unanswered question: Why do we need more nuclear power? I know why industry wants it. I know why government wants it. But why do we need it? I can see some limited small scale usage for medicine and perhaps deep space probes, but for our everyday needs Solar and wind ARE sufficient to take care of our energy needs, and when you consider that they are just at the beginning stages of their development they will only get better. Imagine how much better they would be if renewables actually had the same level of investment that the nuclear industry has been (and still is gifted with)? When you throw in geothermal, hydro, biomass, and some limited conventional generation it becomes very difficult to justify the risks and burdens of large scale nuclear deployment.

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