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Comment Re:How is this hard to determine (Score 1) 97

I find it surprising that the experts are saying they don't know what causes it, seeing as I knew when I was all of 10 years old - I used to watch it happen in our back yard.

And because you weren't stupid you didn't rush them to the local vet (who seems to be the "expert" in the article), you just let them sort themselves out.

The vet is getting more drunk birds in because there is an increase in stupid people who are out of touch with the nature around them. They find the drunk bird and interfere, dropping it into the vet.

More drunk birds at the vet does not mean there are more cases of drunk birds occurring, only that more are being taken to the vet.

Comment Re:I suspect there would be some sort of setting.. (Score 1) 899

Yes there is no reason why they wouldn't just provide the option to turn it off in BIOS, or to enable other OS certificates to be installed.
It would be an option right next to the boot device order.
Its just a secure boot area, go into BIOS and unlock it to install/upgrade your alternate OS, then lock it again when finished to protect yourself from rootkits.

Hardware manufacturers have no reason to want to restrict their product to Windows 8 only, they know there is a market for other OS's, including Win XP.

PC's are a different case to the locked down devices such as iPad, games consoles, Chromebook. The OS is part of those products, Windows on the other hand is third party software which you can buy separately in a box.
Unless Microsoft release their own branded tablet/laptop (for example an xbox360 packaged as a laptop, which is entirely possible) then they have no hope of getting away with locking PC's to Windows.

Could you imagine the ass whooping they would get for trying? Look at their history, such as the trouble in EU over Internet Explorer bundling.

Comment Re:Futile attempt (Score 1) 227

but we like to get what money would get us, not what the devs want us to get for free. Just wait for the retail version to get uploaded.

What this "pirate" is saying is that they dont really want the product, would never pay for it, and wouldn't even want it if it was free.
They only pirate for the sake of piracy, like a scavenger hunt type of thing.

The Music/Movie industry ignores this when coming up with their trillion dollar piracy loss figures.
Many of those downloads are by people who do not want the song anyway, they would never pay a cent for it, if it was on the publishers site for free they still wouldn't want it.

They are only pirating it because it makes them feel that they are getting something worth money for free.
Its like that Simpsons episode where Homer is trying to get rid of the trampoline, no one will take it for free, so they put a bike chain on it and it is immediately stolen. It was only the lock which made it appear to have value. Someone didn't want it stolen, so the logic is that it was worth stealing.

There is no lost sales from such people, they were never going to be customers anyway.

Comment Re:More garbage. (Score 1) 184

What the hell is the point of reviving the Syndicate name if all they're going to do with it is produce yet another uninspired first-person shooter?

Backstory and universe is already there, they dont need to think up new ideas.
Easy for them to just say "hey lets just take the existing Syndicate story and character design and wrap it around an existing FPS engine". No new thought involved, just hand the team copies of the old Syndicate series and tell them to work out the character design and story from that.

Also saves any legal issues with claims that they copied someone elses concepts or IP, they have the license for the Syndicate universe so are safe using story and concepts from it. Otherwise they might be accused of ripping off Dues Ex, since that is more or less what they are doing, but they can claim Dues Ex ripped off Syndicate first.

And it does get extra attention, afterall the only reason it got mentioned here is because of the Syndicate name. All the gaming news sites will mention it just for containing the word Syndicate.

Comment Re:Of course they're overpriced. (Score 1) 698

We told the medical equipment company we didn't have insurance and suddenly the price was just under $60/month. What does that mean? They overcharge the insurance companies by at least 3x what their actual costs are because they can.

Of course they may just have a policy of helping out those without insurance by giving them a discount rate because they figure you will already be struggling.
They might not have made any profit (and that is the reason the company exists) from your hire, just charged enough to cover the wear, administration and insurance costs on the machine. That machine is an investment which also needs to pay itself off, plus turn a percentage of profit.

This is the problem in society today. Someone performs an act of charity, then they get it turned around and slapped in the face by it.

Comment Re:Illegal immigrants, homeless, foreclosed (Score 1) 198

If they think a brand new, fully working "city" is going to stay uninhabited for long, they are too stupid to be performing "science".

Once construction starts, and word gets out, all the contractors will know, which will pass word down to the friends and families of people who know the construction workers, and pretty soon, you've got illegal immigrants moving in, homeless people moving in, people who've been foreclosed on and locked out of their own houses, i.e., basically a squatter situation, and, unless you've got a lot of guys with guns,

As soon as a major defence contractor wants to rent some time, or the military wants to do some training there (yeah they have their own, but variety is always good) those guys with guns would be sent in.

Not that it would ever come to that. Its the middle of nowhere, most houses would just be empty shells without utilities and those with utilities would only be turned on when needed. $200 million doesnt buy that many fully furnished houses, even less when its also paying for roads.
No phone or TV reception, few animals to hunt, no chance of establishing crops, nowhere to buy food.

And its private property, they have to get past the entrance security to begin with, who by the way, can have guns, tazers, mace, dogs and drive big trucks to ram trespassing vehicles.
You make it sound like squatters can just walk into any private property and security guards with just politely ask them to leave. Head down to your nearest industrial facility or warehouse with a security guard at the front gate, see how far you can run in before they physically take you down, post your results.

Comment Re:Isn't this what supercomputers are for? (Score 1) 198

We have a need for this sort of thing at my work, and we are infact involved in the same industries mentioned.
Traffic systems, solar .

Testing in pavement stuff is really difficult. You need a variety of real roads to test on, ever tried getting permission to install a prototype system into a public road?
Road closures to install and monitor, requirements to resurface to road when finished, road rules and insurance issues with driving a vehicle as part of a test, liability risks if your prototype injures or damages the public.
You need a closed facility with real world standard pavement (not 50 year old abandoned military base with grass growing out of it).

Its not about testing the traffic flows and stuff, its about testing how the devices stand up physically. Roads are complex, they are a slow moving liquid which deforms over time and makes a mess of anything you try to embed in it. Wires under the surface snap, enclosures crush or burst open, devices sink deeper or work their way to the surface.

Computer simulations? No simulator comes close to being able to simulate real world variables. Throw millions at simulations and it still wont pickup real world issues. Simulations can only test things that someone thought to test, the point of the testing is to find the unexpected.
Simulations which can model all the physics are massively expensive too, much cheaper to just rent some space for a few months in the test town.

Comment Re:How do they cool them that much? (Score 1) 309

Why does the tank need to be cooled at all?
You dont need to worry about the actual temperature of the tank, just shield the hot tank from enemys line of site.

The "cloak" could be sitting a few feet in front of the tank, with a decent air gap and heat reflecting tank side it only has to deal with changing the ambient air temperature on the enemy side, something Peltier devices can cope with easily.

Current camo netting and some branches can conceal view of the tank to light intensifier night vision. But the problem is heat will still radiate through.
You can block the heat with some shielding/reflecting material, but it would still show up a bit unnatural on infrared scope.
A "heat chameleon" cloak can make it blend into the thermal background.
The ability to animate a cow can help to hide it in plain sight, the cow will grab the enemys attention then be dismissed, small signs like warmer dirt and bushes in the area are likely to be ignored and not draw attention compared with the brightly glowing cow shape saturating the centre of the image.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 114

I'll ask the easy question.. WHY?

Well such a POS terminal would be very handy for tax avoidance purposes, a few small changes and recompile so you can skim a percentage of sales off the top keeping them out of the tax records. Places like restaurants and cafes can get away with this sort of thing easily since it is very hard to audit waste vs sales, biggest risk is that the POS logs act as evidence of your false tax reporting.
New POS terminals log every transaction which goes through them, often with no way for the owner to clear the history (which is a security feature for the owners to stop staff skimming money off, but it also works for government audit). Being able to modify that history to your liking is very valuable.

Many shops keep their old worn out cash registers for this very reason, the old ones dont work as evidence against them, all the new ones do.

Comment Re:Can we start using examples other than Divorce? (Score 1) 591

"Every day I'm happier I have an ipod touch to do i-stuff with"

Your assuming the i-touch doesn't track, no report on if it does or doesn't yet.
Sure it has no GPS, but it can still determine location with any wi-fi that it sees which gives 50m accuracy. In city areas there is constant wifi (hidden or not, it still sees them all), so it is able to track easily.

iPad has GPS, is it keeping this same tracking info or not?

Comment Border patrol (Score 1) 85

This is developed by an Australian company, Australian governments interest is in "boat people" illegal immigrants detection, they currently fly around in P3 Orion's all day looking for rotting old boats on a one way trip from Indonesian waters. Drones are a massive cost saving there.

Search and rescue just makes it sound all nice, but the real application is in border protection, replacing expensive aircraft with cheap drones which can be in the air constantly and can cover a much larger area (check a map, overlay on Europe, its an enormous area). Helicopters aren't really used, dont have the range until a navy ship gets close.

Comment Re:Plausible deniability? (Score 2) 198

3. Netbook instead of a smart-phone? (easier to arrange, no need to hack the phone)

Exactly, why trust any phone hardware? Too much unknown in the drivers/custom firmware and serials linking coms to your device and location within 1km.
99.9% of phones wont have non standard security features setup, any which do are just asking to be confiscated for further investigation, which is inconvenient if nothing else.

Encryption of stored data is useless, your options are to supply the key, or to be charged with some other falsified charge such as drug possession which you will have no defence against.

If secrecy is important it is better to stick with a notepad PC, security is much more established, sensitive material can be hidden amongst 100GB of junk, or stored on "flushable" memory cards. VPN's/remote desktop back to the office are perfectly normal for business people. You can old school dialup modem from any telephone line.

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