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Comment Re:Not perfect???? (Score 1) 181

On the other hand, all this "security" does force bad people to work a little harder to bypass it. And that extra work means more chances to foil plots before they hatch. Someone mentioned the possibility of combining many small containers of liquid explosive into a larger bomb. Which would probably work if they all made it through. But it would require several conspirators instead of a single one, leading to several more ways for the plan to fall apart, hopefully before it even got to the airport.

Comment Re:Short Answer (Score 3, Informative) 657

The question is not whether it's worse than standing next to a bunch of bananas. The question is whether it's worse than an alternative source of energy. Assuming the demand for power stays constant (and it's certainly not going down), shutting down a nuclear power plant requires additional power to be generated elsewhere.

Clearly, a nuclear power plant is less safe than an open field. But is it worse than a coal plant, or a natural gas plant, or the equivalent solar or windmill farm? And by what metrics are we measuring 'safety'? How do you compare the (fairly unlikely) danger of a radiation leak at a nuclear plant to the effects of toxic rain, deforestation, and other byproducts of coal?

Comment Re:Bacteria (Score 1) 973

I think a more realistic plan would be to seed suitable planets with bacteria and just let evolution take care of the rest. Simpler lifeforms are much more resilient to extremes of temperature and atmosphere and are suitable for cryogenic storage for the long journeys. Animals higher up the evolutionary chain are too closely adapted to Earth to survive elsewhere really.

Exactly. Right now, it'd be really hard to send 'humanity' out to colonize the galaxy. However, if we simply want to preserve 'life' (or 'life as we know it'), it should be technologically feasible to load up a bunch of probes with really simple micro-organisms and send them out to seed nearby solar systems. Perhaps not today, but in the near future.

Comment Re:Flow of Information (Score 3, Informative) 531

No, but you're missing the point. If you're quoting Shakespeare, you would do the following

"To be or not to be..." --Hamlet, Hamlet by William Shakespeare

and not

"To be or not to be..." --Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

The first identifies it as a line said by a fictional character, and includes the actual author. The second places the fictional character of Hamlet in a non-fictional context.

Comment Re:"Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland" (Score 4, Informative) 1123

For the people that obviously didn't read the article, here's some additional context:

Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

As much as the OP would like you to think so, these states don't have a law saying it's illegal to video the police. In fact, reading that last sentence would probably lead a reasonable person to conclude that in 11 or those 12 states, recording the police in public would be legal.

Comment Re:alright (Score 1) 861

No. One more time. Please pay attention this time.

The alternative is to make your movies available for convenient download for a reasonable price.
If people can get your movie conveniently and cheaply the vast majority won't bother to 'pirate'


Offer it in 1080p DRM free for $10 and people will pirate it because it's not $5. Offer it for $5 and people will complain that it's not $1. Offer it for $1 and you might as well just upload it to bittorrent sites yourself because you're not going to be able to recoup the cost of servers and bandwidth.

People who pirate movies want free stuff. As long as a free version is available, that's what they're going to take.

Comment Re:Ken Cuccinelli (Score 2, Insightful) 617

If a reputable scientist came out with a strongly researched paper saying that "hey, maybe this global warming thing won't be quite so bad", you know what I'd say?

"Stonking great!"

Contrary to what a lot of the anti-AGW crowd thinks, people in the AGW crowd aren't actually pleased by climate change. We don't want climate-inspired regulations because we have some weird regulation fetish. We want changes because we're actually worried that bad things are going to happen in our lifetimes if we don't change our behavior. We're not going to be sad if the bad things don't happen.

Comment Re:DVD (Score 1) 376

Who buys movies anymore? That's what Netflix is for.

Personally, I bought a blu-ray player because the picture and sound quality are both noticeably better than DVD. It's not like I have dozens of hours invested in producing homemade films that I'm worried I might not be able to play at a later date.

Role Playing (Games)

ArenaNet's MMO Design Manifesto 178

An anonymous reader writes "ArenaNet studio head Mike O'Brien has posted his vision for a new type of MMORPG, which they used in developing Guild Wars 2. Quoting: 'MMOs are social games. So why do they sometimes seem to work so hard to punish you for playing with other players? If I'm out hunting and another player walks by, shouldn't I welcome his help, rather than worrying that he's going to steal my kills or consume all the mobs I wanted to kill? ... [In Guild Wars 2], when someone kills a monster, not just that player's party but everyone who was seriously involved in the fight gets 100% of the XP and loot for the kill. When an event is happening in the world – when the bandits are terrorizing a village – everyone in the area has the same motivation, and when the event ends, everyone gets rewarded.'"

Comment Re:This is where the FTC could really step in (Score 1) 272

But I ALREADY paid sales tax on those stamps. What right does the state think it has to tax the sale AGAIN? THIS is what I really have a problem with.

I don't know about other states, but in MA, you count any sales tax paid as a credit against the use tax. So if you purchase something in New York and pay sales tax, you don't have to pay use tax on it when you bring it home. If you purchase something online from Dell and pay sales tax, you don't have to pay use tax when you use it at home. If you purchase something from Amazon (which doesn't charge sales tax), you are obligated to pay use tax on it.

Comment Re:Its something good. Get over it. (Score 1) 248

No, this isn't democracy. This is a bunch of people deciding something and going ahead with it whether or not anyone else agrees with them. It's no more a democratic than a lynch mob. Sorry, I'm not going to support a system that forces people into hiding just because a bunch of bullies don't agree with what they said.

Comment Re:Original Live Aid and the Scalpers Scalped! (Score 1) 574

That said, I don't see what's wrong with it and how you can make general scalping illegal and yet still permit Joe Schmo to sell a couple of spare gig tickets if some of his mates can't make it on the day?

It's generally legal to resell tickets at close to face value (IANAL, YMMV). So as long as Joe doesn't significantly mark up his tickets that he sells to his mates, he's OK. The legallity gets called into question when he attempts to sell $40 tickets for $150 because everyone wants to see the Red Sox and the game is sold out.

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