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Comment Re:Why bothern with the meeting? (Score 1) 312

You don't think we didn't hear you muttering amongst yourselves beforehand, do you?

This is a group of tech industry veterans, conditioned by years of D&D.

Everyone knows that NPCs don't hear you unless addressed directly. The party discusses their options, and then the character with the highest charisma conveys the group's chosen statement.

Comment Re:I'm surprised the TSA didn't arrest them. (Score 2) 49

I don't think it matters any more. Pre-9/11 thinking was that if the plane gets hijacked, let them fly us to Egypt where we'll be hostage for a few days until the US caves to their demands or Rainbow Six (or whoever) shoots them.

Post-9/11 thinking is that if the plane gets hijacked, the pilot is still not going to open his vault doors, and enough of the passengers are willing to risk a real or imagined knife to beat the stuffing out of you.

Even though I don't think it matters any more, doesn't mean that the TSA has figured it out though.

Comment Re:Year of... (Score 1) 274

With 'good-enough' integrated video currently shipping on current-gen Intel processors, I think we'll start seeing laptops that can dock onto an external high end video card.

When you're on the go you've got your small-time games and traditional laptop full of movies or term papers or whatever.

When you dock it at home you've now got the horsepower to play graphically intensive games without the full additional price or mental juggling of a second gaming PC.

Comment Re:Where is the line? (Score 5, Insightful) 246

The issue here is that technology has progressed to a point that we're discovering that it's possible to have a situation that's never been a problem before.

If you look at the warrant process, it's attempting to keep the government from messing with you unless they have 'a good reason'. Having a detective follow a suspect around to see what they do has, up until now, been naturally limited by funding and manpower to cases where the police had 'a good reason', and so we've never had to make up external limits on the activity.

As police activity becomes less and less limited by funding and manpower, we have to check if we need to start imposing outside limitations instead.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Bring Your Own Last Mile(s) 1

Jaqenn writes: I'm considering buying a house a little past the fringe of my area's broadband infrastructure. The major providers for my area all claim not to service the address, and if I cannot pay them to build out to the location I'd like some advice on what my other options are.

Lets pretend that I have a confederate 1 — 5 miles away that is eligible for service, and will let me install any kind of crazy equipment needed to route traffic between his location to mine. What are my options (and prices) for bridging that gap? Is it feasible to run my own fiber optic cable? How about some kind of microwave bridge? Point-to-Point lasers? Pringles cantennas?

Comment Re:Fear economics (Score 1) 220

It's a tangent, but there's a good article on 2008 rice prices freaking out because of the same effect:

Short version is that in a normal environment there is enough rice produced for everyone, but suddenly everyone worries that RIGHT NOW they need to buy all the rice they will eat ALL YEAR, and that causes problems.

The solution was really interesting too. Turns out that Japan artificially insulates it's rice farmers from foreign competition, but to satisfy world trade agreements they buy lots of rice that sits in warehouses and rots. People started negotiations to re-export that rice to countries with a shortfall, and as soon as the word got around that this might happen people went back to normal buying behavior and the problem evaporated without actually moving anything around.

Comment Re:Connecting to a tracker != downloading (Score 1) 340

I'm curious why you think the judge would be an idiot to sign such a warrant?

I thought warrants were to keep police from going on fishing expeditions where they just show up at your house and look for something, anything, to bust you for. Demonstrating that someone at that address connected to a tracker, requested a block, and now they'd like legally seize the computer to see if the block arrived seems like the iconic use of a warrant.

Comment Re:It's working (Score 3, Interesting) 448

...or they take the prison sentence and be given a comfortable retirement by the mob when they are released (as their reward for serving a sentence in silence)...

I can't offer a source (sorry), but I was listening to this podcast on criminal justice a few years ago, and they talked about it being semi-common in Japan for the Yakuza to assassinate their own members in prison. It wasn't because they were afraid the guy would rat them out, it was because he was just a low level employee that they didn't feel like they owed very much to, and it was cheaper to pay for him to be killed then to be obligated to pay his retirement when he got out.

I wonder if that ever happens stateside.

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