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Comment Re:I'm not suprised (Score 1) 61

I find team play much more entertaining than individual play. After you hit level 8 it's so far between milestones and levels that there's not much gratification on a regular basis. It's just repetitive busywork. But the strategy and teamwork required to execute a giant field that covers a major metropolitan area and everything surrounding it watching the team score spike way up — THAT is gratifying.

Comment Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

It looks like there are only 14 states that charge some sort of sales tax on basic food.

Five charge the full sales tax rate on basic food: Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota
Six charge a reduced state sales tax rate on basic food: Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia
Three others don't charge state sales tax on basic food... but allow local sales tax on basic food: Georgia, Louisianna and North Carolina

Only four states charge any sort of tax on prescription drugs: Delaware, Illinois (greatly reduced), New Hampshire and Oregon.

All data from a Federation of Tax Administrators PDF.

Comment Re:MOD PARENT TRENDY (Score 2) 747

It's more like if you told millions of people that remaining on top of the cliff was a scientifically-proven death sentence for them and their children... and that if they pushed their children over the edge the children would be much more likely to survive. And on top of that... condemning those who left their children well-anchored on top of the cliff as baby killers who obviously hate their own children.

Submission + - Napster: The Day The Music Was Set Free 1

theodp writes: Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster. And it very was very good. The Observer's Tom Lamont reports on VH1's soon-to-premiere Downloaded , a documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the file-sharing software that started the digital music revolution, and shares remembrances of how Napster rocked his world. 'I was 17,' writes Lamont, 'and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame (OMC's How Bizarre, the Grease 2 soundtrack). One day I had unsupervised access to the family PC and, for reasons forgotten, an urge to hear the campy orchestral number from the film Austin Powers. I was a model Napster user: internet-equipped, impatient and mostly ignorant of the ethical and legal particulars of peer-to-peer file-sharing. I installed the software, searched Napster's vast list of MP3 files, and soon had Soul Bossa Nova plinking kilobyte by kilobyte on to my hard drive.' Sound familiar?

Submission + - Is it worth paying extra for fast SD cards? ( 1

Barence writes: "Are faster grades of SD memory card worth the extra cash? PC Pro has conducted in-depth speed tests on different grades of SD card to find out if they're worth the premium. In camera tests, two top-end SD cards outshone the rest by far, while class 4 cards dawdled for more than a second between shots. However, with the buffer on modern DSLRs able to handle 20 full-res shots or more, it's unlikely an expensive card will make any difference to anyone other than professionals shooting bursts of fast-action shots.

What about for expanding tablet or laptop memory? A regular class 4 or 6 card that’s capable of recording HD video will also be fast enough to play it back on a tablet. The only advantage of a faster card for media is that syncing with your PC will be quicker. However, a faster card is recommended if you're using it to supplement the memory of an Ultrabook or MacBook Air."

Comment Re:How about just an iPhone and save even more? (Score 1) 372

Right now the pilots and first officers have to download updates to the printed documents and print them out themselves, if I understand procedure correctly. This isn't an occasional task... but something that takes place on a very regular basis. The documents include everything from standard and emergency procedures to flight plans, airport layouts and so on. Like the blurb above said... it's 35 pounds of paper that they have to carry onto the plane with them... and back off again... everywhere they go. They stick with the pilot... not the plane. But the danger of "hacking" the documentation doesn't go away just because you go with paper. The documents still go through the digital world before they're printed... and still suffer the oh-so-scary danger of "hackers" modifying them. The difference here is that the pilots and officers don't have to lug around a 35+ pound suitcase of books... don't have to waste paper, toner, etc... and can just plug in their iPads to sync all the documentation at once instead of hoping that they got all the documents that had to be updated for their current flight... and got the pages in the right place in the right book. The only disadvantage is that the paper industry will decline faster and the chiropractors won't have as many airline pilots visiting them because their backs were messed up from lugging that stuff around.

Submission + - Tracking school children using GPS (

ruigominho writes: Matosinhos council authorities (in Portugal) started distributing GPS tracking devices to be concealed in school children's backpacks. Parents will be able to define a "virtual fence" — for example delimiting the normal home-school itinerary — and will receive a text message whenever the device goes outside this perimeter. This initiative is publicly supported by parents of missing children.
Where do parent's protection instincts start conflicting with children privacy rights? Should children have any privacy rights at all, and if so, can those rights be surrendered to their parents? Being a parent and at the same time considering myself a privacy advocate I find this to be a very sensitive matter.
Would Tom Sawyer have any chance of getting a kiss from Becky Thatcher if they carried a parent-imposed GPS tracking device with them? Or would we rather trade some marbles for a GPS carry service from Huckleberry Finn, or even hack their way into the tracking server?
What are slashdot readers views on the subject?


Submission + - Wood Pulp Extract Stronger Than Carbon Fiber or Kevlar (

Zothecula writes: The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust. Prepared properly, CNCs are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar or carbon fibers, so that putting CNC into composite materials results in high strength, low weight products. In addition, the cost of CNCs is less than ten percent of the cost of Kevlar fiber or carbon fiber. These qualities have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass (CNCs are transparent), as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical industries.

Submission + - Jill Stein campaign accuses Google of illegally censoring campaign ads (

imortate writes: U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's campaign says that Google has informed them, the day before their campaign ads are set to run, that they will be censored due to "inappropriate language."

Google has served as the ad broker for placement of the campaign's satellite and cable television ad placements.

According to the campaign, "What Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office."

This is called the "no censorship rule," and is designed to protect broadcasters from liability for the content of campaign ads by forbidding them to censor campaign ads.

Has Google, in setting themselves up as a major ad broker, failed to understand and follow the laws that govern advertising and broadcasting?

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"Would I turn on the gas if my pal Mugsy were in there?" "You might, rabbit, you might!" -- Looney Tunes, Bugs and Thugs (1954, Friz Freleng)