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Comment Alternative Calculation in some states (Score 1) 377

Here in Michigan (and presumably elsewhere as well), there's an alternative calculation for "use tax" that you can enter in that's based on your income.

Since you're only obligated to pay the lesser of the two amounts, if you order a large amount online it's often in your best interest to just go with the calculation and forget about trying to keep track of purchases.

(In most years, I think I've wound up paying $50-60 or so with the default amount.)

Comment Kinect's beginings included hacking Wii hardware (Score 1) 262

When you look back to Kinect's beginnings, this news is somewhat more interesting in the light that the original "Project Natal" team that came up with it included Johnny Chung Lee (noted for Wii-mote hacks he did at Carnegie Mellon before working for Microsoft):

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/06/12/0450237/Why-Natal-Is-a-Big-Deal

If I were MS, Sony, or Nintendo, I'd be paying close attention to people in the community that start doing interesting things with this and put them on my short-list for recruiting people to develop next-generation hardware.

Comment How is mass-texting counted? (Score 1) 468

How are mass-texts counted? If the study is counting texts sent to multiple people as multiple texts (as most US carriers charge for them on non-unlimited plans), the numbers seem a whole lot smaller.

i.e.: Something like "Do you want to come with me to lunch?" sent to 10 friends now becomes 10 messages sent and 5 messages received.

Depending on the size of kids' social circles, 10-15 group texts could easily get them up to the 100-200 message mark.

Comment Property destruction or not? (Score 1) 105

The article seems a little unclear as to whether or not destruction of files really took place.

On the one hand, it says that the files in question could not be recovered from the users' systems since they were overwritten.

On the other hand, it says that they were uploaded to a central server.

So were they "destroyed" or not?

Comment Food Analogy (Score 2, Funny) 149

Think of it like this:

System that is never intended to be secure: plastic apple with a warning label stating "THIS IS NOT FOOD"

System that should be secure, but isn't: apple full of worms

You're not going to have a good experience biting into either apple, but there's definitely a difference in the expectations that someone would have when looking at them.

Comment Sounds like a repeat of the Wikipedia debate (Score 1) 840

At the heart of things, isn't this just a logical extension of the same debates that are seen surrounding sites like Wikipedia?

i.e.: while it's great that anyone can produce content, having larger amounts of people producing content makes it harder to separate out what's actually relevant, important, or even true?

Comment Re: IA Labs actually around a lot longer (Score 2, Informative) 67

From reading the article, it looks like IA Labs is actually Powergrid Fitness -- a company that has been releasing gaming-based exercise devices since as early as 2004: http://www.futurelooks.com/forums/showthread.php?p=81382

So definitely not what I would consider to be a "patent troll" given that they've had devices on the market since before any of the control mechanisms for the Wii were even announced.

If you look around, they've been at CES with new or updated devices pretty much every year from 2004 onward.

Comment Re:Needs to be said again since you missed the poi (Score 1) 356

Wake me up when I can hook my Linux box into my HDTV using a dvi to hdmi converter and be able to get the screen dimensions right without doing nasty things to my X config files. That's consumer grade.

Sounds painfully similar to my experiences with Nvidia hardware on Windows 7 x64... (hours of attempts at hacking away at .inf files, attempting to override EDID values from the display, and searching out different drivers versions to try).

As soon as I tossed an ATI card with a real HDMI-out port on it, everything just magically worked.

Comment Airbag lawsuits? Read the article... (Score 1) 631

When we decide that certain items must include certain safety features, we pass a law specifying that. Did anyone ever sue an auto manufacturer who did not include airbags? I don't think so.

Taken from the original article:

Carpinello likens flesh-detection technology to airbags, which fueled a similar slew of litigation when they were first installed in cars. Automakers without airbags got sued for not adopting the better safety design. Now, all cars have airbags.

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