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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 5, Funny) 246

Try it, call the police up sometime and report that your car was broken into... or your house... they may show up sometime in the next 12 to 48hrs... maybe... in my city you get to file a report over the phone to an answering machine. Then try calling them and telling them you've got an once of pot. You'll have 3 squad cars in your driveway in under 5 minutes. Welcome to American indeed.

Reminds me of a humorous story many of you are probably familiar with:

Going to bed the other night, I noticed people in my shed stealing things.
I phoned the police but was told no one was in the area to help. They said they would send someone over as soon as possible.
I hung up. A minute later I rang again. 'Hello,' I said, 'I called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. You don't have to hurry now, because I've shot them.'
Within minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, plus helicopters and an armed response unit. They caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the officers said: 'I thought you said you'd shot them.'
To which I replied: 'I thought you said there was no one available.'

Comment That's not how warrants work (Score 1) 2

You seem to be a little backwards on how warrants work. Warrants are tools for the police officers to obtain information that they might not otherwise be privy to, they are not a restriction on what information the police are able to have. Your statement, "The police didn't ask for the information yet got it anyway." seems to indicate you believe that the police aren't authorized to be in possession of any data they didn't have a warrant for; this is completely untrue. The police can ask for whatever data they wish at any time, and the company is free to decide whether or not they want to comply. It's when the company says "no" that the police can try to get a warrant from a judge. If the judge issues the warrant, now the company is forced into complying with the officer.

TL;DR: Warrants don't restrict the police, they restrict the ones the police deal with.

Comment Re:I welcome (Score 4, Insightful) 68

Well sure, if we could actually observe the weather on this planet and confirm or refine our speculations, that would be great. Unfortunately, the technology to do so is well beyond our means at this point. By the time we actually are able to directly observe this planet, our weather models will probably be much more refined as well.

I'm reminded of the planet discovered over a year ago that was tidally locked to its star, which created a habitable zone circling the planet where the light from the star would hit it at an oblong angle, creating a zone of essentially perpetual twilight where life could form. We had quite a few ideas already for what the environment on this planet must be like, until further measurements of the star system revealed that the "planet" was really just minor errors in the calculations of the star's wobble, and there wasn't even a planet there to begin with.

This article isn't "just knowledge for knowledge's sake." Indeed, it seems to be purely speculation for speculation's sake. I'm actually very concerned by the line in the summary, "With patience and cunning, more than you might think," because that really implies we know a lot more about what we're talking about than we actually do. I'll just be happy when the weather forecaster on TV can accurately tell me the weather for the next week.

Comment The Paul Miller UI (Score 2) 1

I like how his advice is coming directly from how he personally feels a UI should look and feel, instead of the potential mess of bringing in a group of average people and asking them to compare UIs, and performing usability tests to tune the UI towards the common user. But no, clearly every UI should be tuned for Paul Miller, he knows what a good UI is supposed to feel like.

Comment Re:Understand academics and money (Score 1) 695

I don't know if you understand the field of science properly, but it's not all limousines and mansions, you know.

After fourteen years of graduate school, Professor Farnsworth settled into the glamorous life of a scientist. Fast cars, hot nightclubs, beautiful women... the professor designed them all, working out of his tiny, one-bedroom apartment.

Comment Theft? (Score 1) 3

They are even refusing to release the half of the debate containing Coyne's comments and questions, which is his intellectual property. And that latter is theft, plain and simple

So torrenting music and movies is OK, but as soon as it's something you support, it's suddenly theft? Nope, sorry, doesn't work both ways. That point has been covered many times here, you can't "steal" intellectual property like that. Coyne's comments and questions still belong to him, even if the video containing them isn't released. And he's still free to make his comments public however he pleases. I know Slashdot has quite a few militant atheists, but please try to sound objective in your summaries.

Comment Re:Won't work (Score 2) 163

Yeah. I've heard of a similar, albeit more primitive, concept called "self-checkout lane" - that never took off, either.

I'm assuming that was sarcastic. If not, the rest of this doesn't make as much sense.

Self checkout lanes still typically have a person at the end monitoring a few lanes, and some scales you have to put everything on after you scan it.

As I understand, these still require a random audit, which isn't too hard to defeat still. For one, it's unlikely to require audits close together, so just keep an eye on things and then jump on the line that just had an audit.

Assuming the audit system is actually random, there's no way you can guarantee that two audits won't come up back-to-back either. Are you really willing to take that chance?

Alternately you can bury the thing you want to steal underneath a bunch of other stuff in the cart.

Now you're assuming they haven't been trained to pull items from random depths in the cart, as much of a pain as that might sometimes be.

Avoid a line that has the rare diligent auditor.

Self-checkout lanes where I live tend to be the cashiers that are more observant and reliable than the average cashier. I'd assume with a system like this, they'd tend to be even more so.

Lastly if you get caught just watch the process and as they go to scan a stolen item say something like "Wait, that's not supposed to be in there. I thought I put that back on the shelf."

Yeah, I'm sure he's heard that one before too. The guys manning these stations aren't likely to be that naive.

OTOH, that doesn't make this a show stopper. With higher custom satisfaction (which hopefully translates to a higher repeat sale rate) and reduced total cashier payroll this can still work to a net profit if the additional shrink isn't too severe.

People actually determined to shoplift are still more likely to just stuff the item in their jacket, where the auditor is unlikely to check anyway.


Submission + - New Bill makes Streaming a Felony ( 3

halfEvilTech writes: Two months ago, the Obama administration asked Congress to make illicit online streaming of copyrighted movies and TV shows a felony. Such a bill has now been introduced by two senators.

So now even streaming a Movie across the internet could be considered more severe than say a DUI. Not to mention what this would do in states with 3 strikes laws for felonies.

Submission + - Do Developers Really Need A Second Monitor? (

jammag writes: "It was an agonizing moment: a developer arrived at work to realize his second monitor had been taken (given to the accounting dept., to add insult to injury). Soon, the wailing and the gnashing of teeth began. As this project manager recounts, developers feel strongly — very strongly — about needing a second monitor (maybe a third?) to work effectively. But is this just the posturing of pampered coders, or is this much screen real estate really a requirement for today's developers?"

Submission + - Digital Manipulation of Birth Certificate Shown (

samcan writes: "I really thought with President Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate, this "birther" nonsense was finally over. However, orangegold1 has put together a video showing how the PDF provided by the White House (, when imported into Illustrator, is actually composed of layers, which reveal digital tampering. While I don't have Illustrator, I was also able to pull apart the PDF using Inkscape. Is there some right-wing conspiracy I'm missing?"

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