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Comment Re: Battery life? (Score 1, Informative) 217

The good thing about basic phones is that they were perfected years ago, so they're cheap now. If off grid emergency use is important, buy a Nokia 1100 and it'll last you a week - a couple of cheap batteries can easily extend that to a month, or a portable solar panel will make it indefinite.

The emergence of power-guzzling pocket computers doesn't mean that the basic, long life, $30 phones don't exist any more, it just means they aren't getting headlines.

Comment Re:and Fox news (Score 1) 270

Not necessarily. Is it not reasonable to say "I think taxes should be lower overall, and I don't think funds should be distributed to X, Y, or Z. However, since I'm forced to pay those taxes, I may as well avail myself of services X and Z. I'd be happier not to pay and not to use them, but since I've already paid, I may as well make the best of it"?

Comment Re:Moodle. (Score 5, Informative) 120

My kingdom for a mod-point. Moodle is designed to do exactly what you ask - it's admittedly not the absolute best piece of software I've ever used, and there are a few rough edges, but it does its job.

The only real competitor is the utter monstrosity that is Blackboard, which I believe starts at $10k/year. For that low, low price, you get a piece of software which is slow, buggy, and has a web interface which manages to disable such revolutionary new browser features as 'the back button', and 'middle click'.

Comment Re:Who protects the exit node operators? Anonymous (Score 1) 96

I don't know that there is a method to do it completely anonymously, but the fact we're even treating the mere operation of an exit node as a crime, and something to be hidden at all costs, is a rather depressing indictment of the current state of our legal systems. Ideally one should be able to proudly and publicly make a stand for anonymity - that's where my comment about a decent amount of money comes in. A higher profile name who sets up a (charitable?) organisation with limited liability (not a perfect protection, but something) and loudly announces to the world how they're standing up for the First Amendment rights of all Americans (or some local equivalent) makes for, at worst, a protracted and public case in which the government can easily come out looking like the bully.

It's imperfect, certainly, but plenty of people have made the world a better place in the process of being fucked over making a stand against their governments. Many others have won. Some have disappeared into the legal system for all eternity. Sometimes the sacrifice is in vain, sometimes it isn't, but it almost always packs a better punch if you have the money and publicity to manage it well.

Comment Re:Why would anyone ever want to run a Tor exit no (Score 5, Interesting) 96

It's a public service, helping to preserve people's ability to practice their right to free speech. Plenty of us believe extremely strongly in that, and I'd consider it at least as worthy as many other philanthropic causes. If I had a decent amount of money (i.e. enough to consult a lawyer beforehand, take reasonable legal precautions, and kick up a stink rather than just disappearing if I ever were taken to court) I'd do it like a shot.

Comment Re:Magnets in your body? That's nice. (Score 3, Informative) 228

Interesting. If anyone else cares, a somewhat enlightening bit of Googling on the subject seems to indicate that it varies from doctor to doctor, and that the main concern is the metal interfering with electrocauterisation equipment (in the case that something goes wrong during surgery, even if it wasn't intended to be used originally) and causing burns. It's a risk mitigation thing, and it appears that some places won't budge, whereas others will have you sign a release, with further variability based on the inherent risk of the type of surgery in question.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 3, Insightful) 193

It's fair to say that the figure is pretty damn likely to be incorrect. But I quite agree, the Forbes article should've gone one step further and done the correct calculation for the 2010 data (since, by their assertions, it seems that 2011 data is not yet fully available).

Comment Re:Really smart!! (Score 1) 112

I didn't say 'instead of', but it sure as hell gives you an advantage. In my experience it's a sliding scale between ability, appearance and confidence - the more you have of one, the less you need of the others. A vast generalisation, of course, with somewhat overlapping criteria, and it breaks down at the extremes (you don't get surgeons with zero ability, nor business executives with zero confidence, for example), but not a bad rule of thumb.

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