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Comment Re:Big Red Will Still Get Their 2 bucks (Score 1) 281

My partner got caught by one of these bill collector scumbags. They just troll through credit histories and call folks with delinquent balances and browbeat them into giving them a debit card or checking account number to "settle" it. Any amount of verification will show that they have nothing to do with the debts they're trying to collect (which we, thankfully, did). Very frightening experience.

Comment Re:Can Anyone figure out what he's arguing here? (Score 1) 240

Oh, so it's just the slippery slope fallacy: "seizure of internet domains now = legislators will do anything for political leverage at the expense of US customers and suppliers" Yes, SOPA is misguided. It does not mean the US Congress has a death wish for our country, but rather they are bumbling, and largely paid-for, fools.

Comment Extra-judicial enforcement (Score 4, Insightful) 283

The real problem, as I see it, is the "accusation = guilt" and extra-judicial enforcement methods of these laws. It just floors me that our congressmen, sworn to uphold the constitution, thinks that laws where all you have to do is file some paperwork and "poof" the website gets blocked without having to present compelling-enough evidence to a judge under penalty of perjury (and with oppposing counsel's arguments) for him or her to issue an injunction to block the DNS entry. It shows they have absolutely no respect for the Constitution or even knows what "rule of law" means.
Crime

Ask Slashdot: Protecting Tech Gear From Smash-and-Grab Theft? 514

rstory writes "I seem to be hearing about more smash and grab thefts lately, from low-tech purse snatching to thieves after laptops and cameras. Bold thieves are even snatching stuff in church/day-care parking lots in the 5 minute window while a parent goes in to pick up their child. I often drive around with my laptop, and want to find the best way to protect against theft. Besides the obvious 'don't leave equipment in the car' solution, what else are people doing? Right now I just use a regular backpack instead of a fancy laptop case. I don't have a trunk, so when I leave the car I put the backpack on the floor of the back seat, sometimes throwing other junk on top. The only interesting thing I've found while googling is a couple of 'anti-theft' backpacks which have wire mesh to prevent cutting them open and a (thin looking) cable for securing to a stationary object. What do you do to protect your gear?"
Advertising

Company to Send DBA into Space 98

cramco writes "Moments ago, a U.K. software company announced at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle that it would send a lucky contestant to space. The sponsors, Red Gate, is holding a five-week DBA contest with the winner getting a trip to space. Why? And why put them through five weeks of quizzes and technical challenges presented within B-movie-looking videos involving rubber Martians, small dogs, alien body parts and one of their own acting very strangely? Well, as any developer knows, DBA stands for Don't Bother Asking."

Comment Slanted Summary (Score 5, Insightful) 591

I don't normally find such slant in Slashdot summaries (except when it's pro-open-source, obviously, which is part of the reason I come here). Using the word "illegal" and "criminal" repeatedly to describe one side of a labor dispute is just beyond the journalistic pale. I know this is "citizen journalism", but it doesn't have to read like some anti-union blog.

Comment Re:wait (Score 1) 138

No private insurer will insure a nuclear power plant, due to the extremely large (albeit with rather small risk) amount of damage that they can do (and insurance companies are designed to measure risk (not as-calculated, but as-observed) and turn it into profit). Insurance is necessary to avoid externalizing the risk of a nuclear power plant in a "true" free market system. Therefore, there's no such thing as a "free market nuclear power plant". They're _all_ backed, implicitly or explicitly, by governmental insurance.
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Moving From *nix To Windows Automation? 427

Zubinix writes "I have a background in doing automation in a Unix/Linux environment using scripting languages such as perl and bash shell, as well as ssh for remote scripting. My next project will be in the Windows environment so what approach and methodology is best for developing, say, the automation required for a test system? I don't want to use things like Cygwin, as I need to integrate with Windows applications such as Exchange and Sharepoint. Is there a list of should and should not dos when it comes to Windows automation?"
AI

Free-Form Linguistic Input In Mathematica 8 84

vbraga writes "With the release of Mathematica 8, it now allows input through free-form English instead of the Mathematica syntax, just like the Wolfram|Alpha engine. The results are impressive. From the blog post: 'I routinely found myself using free-form linguistics as an integral part of longer computations — randomly interspersing Mathematica syntax and free-form linguistics on different lines in a Mathematica session, and just using whichever was most convenient for a particular input. And here's an exciting part: in Mathematica 8 the free-form linguistics doesn't just operate line-by-line. It knows the context in which it's used in a notebook, so you can use it to build things up.'"
Toys

Parrot iPod-Controlled Quadricopter Launches This Week 67

MojoKid writes "Remote-controlled helicopters are not new, but Parrot's AR.Drone Quadricopter is set to make a splash when it goes on sale on Sept. 9th. It will use an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a controller, and give a live video feed from two different cameras to the pilot. Each model comes with two hulls, one of them for indoor use, with protective loops around the rotors. The device creates its own Wi-Fi network, which the iOS device connects to in order to control the Quadricopter."

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