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Comment Modem deathmatch with monsters. (Score 1) 351

Back when DOOM II first came out, I had gotten my first "modern" computer, and I was between semesters at college. As I had my computer at home, I had no one at school to play against. Fortunately, a couple of my best friends still lived in the neighborhood, so late at night we would connect our computers via modem to play deathmatch with monsters.

(The atmosphere in my bedroom at the time was awesome, too. I would have headphones on, and all the lights would be out except for my bedside lamp, which had this odd plastic orange lampshade. Thus, my room would be filled with this dull orange light...)

Anyway, deathmatch with monsters was fun because not only did we have each other to beat on, we could also take out the level's monsters if they were getting in our way or if we wanted a challenge. What made it even more fun was that if you had multiple players on a level, the game would alter the monsters in the room to match the challenge. In one level ("O of Destruction", if I remember correctly), I remember spawning in, hearing "ker-THWOMP ker-THWOMP ker-THWOMP", and thinking, "That sounds like a Cyberdemon. Nah, couldn't be, there isn't one in this level." I turned a corner, and right after my character was turned to paste by three rockets, said, "Holy shit there IS a Cyberdemon!"

To this day I'm not sure who had the higher kill count that day: us or the Cyberdemon. I DO know we had to call a temporary truce so we could take out the Cyberdemon... ;-)

Comment Re:All prison letters screened (Score 5, Informative) 109

However, the main universal exception to this rule involves discussions between an inmate and his attorney (just as in this case). Courts have even held that while even legal mail can be searched, it has to be done in the prisoner's presence and they can only glance at the actual correspondence itself.

Jail Mail from Attorney Must Be Opened in Inmate’s Presence, 7th Circuit Says

Comment Star Wars Galaxies (Score 1) 2219

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The history to be learned from this case is that of Star Wars Galaxies. At one point, SOE insisted on making a massive gameplay change called the "New Game Experience", which completely changed the way the game worked. After the beta NDA was lifted, it was revealed that almost everyone who tried it were practically begging SOE not to implement it. The majority of players, upon learning of it, voiced the same concerns. SOE responded saying the changes were necessary.

After it launched, they lost the majority of their players practically overnight.

Learn from that, Dice, and don't let the same thing happen to you.

Comment Is it bad that... (Score 0) 112

... I got as far as "Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton", remembered the absolutely inane and laughably incorrect drivel he wrote regarding the protections of the Fifth Amendment, and clicked "Close Tab"?

(Yes, I know, I'm back posting. I only came back to post that and ask that we be warned next time there's a Haselton post so we know it should be skipped.)

Comment Re:Ok, so... (Score 1) 453

If enough people do this, then maybe people will remember why the fuck laws exist at all, and why the legal authorities have rules to follow as well.

It's become a not-uncommon occurrence for criminals to dress up and pose as police when doing home invasions. That still hasn't stopped police from performing no-knock warrant raids, nor has it stopped them from prosecuting citizens who defend themselves (even if the police hit the wrong house or the warrant was based on bad information).

Comment Re: 00000000 just as secure as 73618357 (Score 4, Funny) 306

At one place I worked, the marketing director had arrived at work, but had forgotten her alarm code. So, she typed in "123456". The system seemingly disarmed, and she went to her office.

Very shortly after, the police arrived. What she didn't know was that criminals trying that code first was so common that the alarm company dispatched police immediately when it was used, figuring that someone using it was trying to break in. Needless to say she was more than a little upset after everything was straightened out... ;-)

Comment Hearsay. (Score 4, Informative) 871

IMHO, the most important reason is the one Professor Duane gave regarding what weight the statements have in court. Anything you say can and will be used against you, but nothing you say can be used for you. Anything you say in your defense would be ruled as hearsay and as such inadmissable.

So, on a personal level, at the very best nothing happens to you and at the very worst you admit to a crime (and maybe not even the one you're being questioned about!) and get hauled off to jail. On a societal level, at the very best you MIGHT give some information that is useful but at the very worst (and probably more likely) an innocent individual faces charges for a crime he didn't commit.

That's why I would never agree to police questioning without an attorney.

Comment Re:Why does anyone like this show? (Score 1) 772

On mature reflection, I think it should be fair to point out that a big theme of Steven Moffat's run on Doctor Who is the fact that the "badass boasts" you complain about are a bad thing, to the point where the Big Bads of both seasons 5 and 6 ended up being alliances of races afraid of the Doctor and his ever-increasing ego. In series 7 he calms down considerably, to the point where he tries to keep a low profile whenever possible.

Comment Re:Why does anyone like this show? (Score 1) 772

First, I was annoyed that The Doctor is portrayed as somewhat all-powerful for no reason at all. He can threaten his enemies and make appeals with no credentials whatsoever. I kind of understand that scenes where he says that "the Earth is protected" by him are perhaps awe-inspiring to a 50's born nerd who has watched all of the previous 200 episodes, but I really don't get why the aliens he is currently facing won't just incinerate him on the spot. To an outside observer, it simply seems like a lame would-be superhero saving the day by just boasting about it. This is actually repeated twice during the first three episodes.

To be fair, that would be like asking why an old retiring captain would be the one sent to meet with Earth's most persistent enemy for peace talks. (Aka, Star Trek VI.) There's been enough backstory to show that Kirk is Starfleet's most successful and well-known captain, plus sending a well-known enemy of the Klingons to peace talks shows a certain symbolism.

It's the same way with Doctor Who. Even simply counting the televised appearances, he's been around for so long that his exploits have become legend, and anyone reading up on them quickly learns not to underestimate him. It's even well-established that the most feared, genocidal, and intelligent race in the universe is so afraid of him that they only purposely seek confrontation in dire emergencies. Essentially, while it may seem like badass boasts, almost every time I've seen him do it it's A) to someone who knows him already, or B) to someone who has access to information that lets them know he is not to be trifled with.

In short, in the series, it's taken for granted that if it were that easy to just incinerate him on the spot, it would have happened long ago. He's just usually too lucky and clever to let it happen for the most part. ;-)

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982