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Comment Re:You are right, and wrong (Score 1) 728

$50-$1000 flat fee depending on the "degree" of violation, perhaps?
0-20 (~1 album): $50
21-60 (~2-3 albums): $150
61-100 (~4-6 albums): $300

It's more than the actual album would have cost (so if you just buy the music, it would have been cheaper) but it's not so unreasonable that it will drive you to bankruptcy.

Comment Re:Good Grief (Score 3, Insightful) 194

I don't know about other people, but if an ad is particularly annoying, I make a note to remember that company so as not to buy their products. Granted, it works the other way as well; if I see a particularly unobtrusive form of advertising or hear about a company doing something good, I make a point to check out their products and suggest them to friends. Word of mouth for me is much more effective than annoying popups and obtrusive, pushy ads. Those just make me hate you.

Comment Re:Motives (Score 4, Informative) 260

I mean if the US really could control every other nation on the planet like people on slashdot think then he would have had a tragic car accident long ago.

I have to agree. I know a former State Department official who was relatively far up the chain and he's told me the same thing: People tend to vastly overestimate the capabilities of the US, particularly on the intelligence and global influence fronts. I'm just surprised that so many people on /. seem to fall into the same trap of assuming that "The Government" can do these things while simultaneously going on about how stupid and inept various branches are.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 2, Insightful) 118

Major kudos indeed. I've never played anything by Gearbox but I'll be sure to check out what titles they sell as a way of saying thanks. When companies do things like this, I have no problem supporting them with purchases or at least a nice note and a recommendation to friends if their games aren't for me.

Comment I'm on the fence... (Score 2, Insightful) 454

I see both sides here. The reason most people who are upset about this are bothered seems to be that it's something that seems trivial to them. On the other hand, to Johnny Layman, perhaps 'installing firmware' brings to mind Druidic runes and rituals beyond comprehension - so he takes it to his Best Buy and pays a fee to avoid having to do the work himself. The process is still simple, but what Mr. Layman is paying for is the peace of mind knowing that it is being done by 'professionals' (at least, supposedly). It's not really any different from when Grandma calls a tech support service (and pays for it) because her router needs reset. Sure, she could do it herself, but it's intimidating and there's a fear of 'breaking' something.

To go off on a tangent for a moment, I feel that this is honestly the root cause of a lot of problems when it comes to the typical user and computers. Most people who were around before or at the very beginning of the advent of computers are simply intimidated and say that they're afraid of breaking the computer. They don't know how they would 'break' it, there is just that ever-present fear of the computer somehow being destroyed if they touch it. I try explaining that it's really hard to actually 'break' a computer short of physically damaging the hardware and that when your data is backed up on the company network, there's really not a lot to be afraid of, but it's no use. You can walk them through it step-by-step, but if you don't physically sit down at the computer and do it yourself, they'll still be afraid of something going wrong.

Comment Re:Beware? (Score 2, Interesting) 265

Why not legalize (most) drugs, but make penalties for crimes performed while under the influence of drugs automatically double, or at least much harsher? If you're going to do drugs, fine, but if you are going to be irresponsible about it, you will face much harsher consequences. Let those who can be responsible enjoy themselves, and let those who can't face the consequences. Don't want to take that risk? Don't do drugs. But if you gamble and lose, well, it's your fault. No point in punishing those who can be responsible users for your failings, right?

Comment Re:Beat them to the punch (Score 2, Interesting) 280

Many people are in your exact situation, and it's a tough one to be in. You'd like to tell them that you'll be taking your business elsewhere, but when they're the only ones who offer that service, you have no choice but to stick with them or go without. Perhaps you could send them a strongly-worded letter expressing the flaws in this policy and voicing your displeasure? If enough people make enough of a fuss, something might get done - particularly if the news outlets get wind of a 'big company exploiting the poor folks without any other options'.

Comment Re:None (Score 1) 480

I do the same thing, actually. It's more out of habit from when I had too many LEDs on one side of the room that were inconvenient to cover up.

Currently, I have about two or three: The microwave clock (I'm in a dorm) that I occasionally cover up, the light from where my phone charger plugs into the phone, and the smoke detector above the bed. There are a few other ones still on in the room (one videogame console, router LEDs), but those aren't visible from bed.

Comment Traditional media vs Social networks (Score 1) 1090

I first heard about this story through a Canadian friend. I'm a born-Marylander attending school elsewhere in the States and tried tuning into some local (as in Maryland) news outlets for info. Nothing. I assumed the national media wouldn't have much and I was right. My third stop, however, was Twitter, and it was there I found information, including the gunman's suspected identity, links to his webpage(s) and MySpace account, and the fact that he had protested outside Discovery in the past all before the local news had even picked up the story.

Several hours later, I sat down after coming back from class and checked the local news outlets. They were just now broadcasting some of this information, saying things like "We believe that the suspect may have been tentatively identified..." and interviewing bus drivers and people walking to Chick-Fil-A (that's not hyperbole either; those were actual interviews they aired) before finally turning to videos from YouTube.

Say what you will about Twitter's uselessness for most purposes, but when it comes to breaking news, it can be incredibly informative. Obviously you have to sift through more misinformation, but the news outlets don't vet the info they get either. They originally stated one hostage before refusing to state a number, finally coming up hours later with 3, and contradicting their previous statements several times regarding the number of shots fired, if any shots WERE fired, the number of hostage-takers in the building, their motives, etc. If you have a working bullshit detector and are able to sift through information fairly well, Twitter is a very good source for these sorts of events.

Comment 15! (Score 2, Interesting) 384

I keep all of my icons in a sort of inverted L-shape on the left side of my desktop. I keep my browser on the far right side, and that takes up about 60% of the screen. IM windows go to the left of that - it's actually a pretty efficient way to manage screen real estate. The majority of the time, I can just click on any icon I need without having to minimize or drag windows.

The icons I have are basically things I use frequently or have to remember to keep on top of - OpenOffice, Photoshop, iTunes, Steam, antivirus programs, and then 3 folders that contain 1) school work, 2) side projects, and 3) any other links/msc data that I felt necessary to have accessible.

Comment Re:Google map it (Score 2, Informative) 560

At 21:58 GMT on Christmas Eve 1997, 15 years after it was first observed, the buzzing abruptly stopped; to be replaced by a short series of beeps, followed by a male voice speaking Russian who repeated the following message several times: “Ya — UVB-76. 18008. BROMAL: Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhail, Anna, Larisa. 742, 799, 14.

Seems like this isn't the first time there has been a similar broadcast. The names appear to be just a way of confirming the spelling of a message, like someone saying "that's A as in Apple". In this case, the message is 93 882 N as in Nikolai, A as in Anna, etc. Still interesting to think about what the purpose might be, though.

Comment Re:Translation: (Score 1) 473

We may joke about it, but that's very similar to how the RIAA goes about suing people. "Look, we think you stole songs, so we'll offer to settle for $5,000. After all, your legal fees would be much more than that anyway." The problem is that even an innocent person can't afford to fight. It amounts to extortion.

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