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Comment Re:As I said in the earlier story on porn... (Score 0, Offtopic) 321

And free tech support advice from someone who does tech support for a living, might not be as free as you think it would be?
Free car maintenance advice from a mechanic might not be as free as you think it would be?
Free health care advice from a medical professional might not be as free as you think it would be?

Hehe, I'm not sure what you are asking your tech support guy and mechanic to do that you would be concerned with STDs...

I suppose you might have a point on the last one thou!

Comment It's all about math and honesty! (Score 1) 594

If you round amounts in the right way, then there's no cons in rounding even to the quarter.
In this case there's would be an average difference of about USD 0.125 (one eighth), with balancing plus and minus.
As soon as retailers start being "smart" (by ceiling the amounts), you loose an average of USD 0.125 for every purchase.
Go for the pennies. Put them in a box and when you go to the bank (or pay your fines) use them.

Comment OK, but... (Score 1) 178

TFA already points out that there are existing solutions to this problem... sure, they're expensive, but when their example of the finance industry is involved, people will happily pay six, seven figures to get an edge over the competition anyways. If it's not worth the cost, you probably don't need that level of precision. Nice to improve the system, but how much benefit will anyone see from it?

Comment 3 years. Use it, or LOSE it. (Score 1) 159

thats as good as it goes. if something is so fucking valuable that it 'justifies' 13 years of 'patent duration', that means it can make heaps of money. that means, if you want to make money, you should USE it and make that money.

noone should be allowed to patent stuff, hoard them and just wait, working on other things or waiting for someone to use a similar thing and troll on them. this is knowledge. if you invented something, and are not using it, you shouldnt be able to bar mankind's progress when someone else invents it through their own means.

Comment Re:What a Troll! (Score 1) 395

It is absurd to suggest that any public company should be permitted to evade the law.

Yes, but tax minimization (unlike tax evasion) isn't "evading the law".

Which one it actually is in this case is up for the courts to decide. I doubt anyone here actually has enough knowledge, and/or access to documentation, to make a definite conclusion either way.

Comment Re:Good grief.. (Score 1) 942

Reminds me of one of those wife-swap shows I watched while stuck somewhere.

Crazy woman from Florida was just flabbergasted that the mid-west farming family she was bunking with had never had chicken marsala(sp?). She was later outdone when one of the farm chickens is found dead. Goes through all sorts of histrionics to 'revive' the chicken, and finally settles for giving it a Christian burial, as the farm children looking on in bemused confusion.

Is is companionship, or is it food? It is just hilarious to watch the less thoughtful among us struggle with this question.


Submission + - Software suggestions for coprorate lobby LCD? 5

xjohnx writes: I have been tasked with configuring a flat screen in our corporate lobby. The business wants this screen to display things like a news ticker along the bottom, local weather, our current stock price, etc. Simply put, a dashboard of information dynamically updated and populated primarily by RSS feeds, and a couple of user updated or static fields. Think something along the lines of what you see every day in banks, malls, etc. There does not need to be any viewer interaction with the device.

I thought there would be a number of open source solutions to do just this, however my research thus far has only revealed commercial solutions, most of which are sold as an appliance and bundled with a hosting service.

Ideally, I would like to be able to run this on our own hardware and handle all hosting and configuration internally. Does anyone have experience with any open source or software only solutions?

A Look At Google's Email Spam Prevention 176

CNet has a story about the security measures Google employs to protect their email systems and fight the never-ending war on spam. Their Postini team, acquired two years ago, has a variety of monitoring tools and automated response systems to find and block undesirable messages. Quoting: "The system scores each message on numerous combinations of criteria, assigning a weight to each and then comparing the score to those in a database of several hundred thousand message types that have been flagged as good or bad from Postini honey pots and customer spam reports. ... To block fresh spam attacks not covered by existing heuristic technologies and viruses not covered by existing signature databases Postini relies on proprietary Zero-Hour technology to identify new outbreaks that show up in the traffic patterns and quarantine them for later rescanning. Customers can also create and build out their own white lists of message senders they trust and blacklist others they don't trust. It takes an average of 150 milliseconds for a message to be scanned by the antivirus engines that Postini licenses from McAfee and Authentium.
Role Playing (Games)

The Essentials of RPG Design 241

simoniker writes "As the latest in his Game Design Essentials series for Gamasutra, writer John Harris examines 10 games from the Western computer RPG (CRPG) tradition and 10 from the Japanese console RPG (JRPG) tradition, to figure out what exactly makes them tick. From the entry on Nethack: 'Gaining experience is supposed to carry the risk of harm and failure. Without that risk, gaining power becomes a foregone conclusion. It has reached the point where the mere act of spending time playing [most RPGs] appears to give players the right to have their characters become more powerful. The obstacles that provide experience become simply an arbitrary wall to scale before more power is granted; this, in a nutshell, is the type of play that has brought us grind, where the journey is simple and boring and the destination is something to be raced to. Nethack and many other roguelikes do feature experience gain, but it doesn't feel like grind. It doesn't because much of the time the player is gaining experience, he is in danger of sudden, catastrophic failure. When you're frequently a heartbeat away from death, it's difficult to become bored.' Harris' Game Design series has previously spanned subjects from mysterious games to open world games, unusual control schemes and difficult games."

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