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Comment Re:V2V Developer (Score 1) 390

Since this is designed to be broadcast to any cars around you (and therefore to receive from any cars around you), why would anyone need to hack the encryption? All they need to do is appear as another car, and you'll negotiate the encryption with them, and pass along all the data, meanwhile accepting whatever they tell you. As far as the government spying issue goes, again, all they have to do is appear as another car, and your car will happily give up all the data. I could easily envision a device that simply masquerades as a car 100 feet behind you - when they attach it to your car, your car will keep it updated with all the information about your speed and position, and since it's always behind you and never closing, your car won't need to issue any alerts to you. Even without that, if you have positional information, with the increasing prevalence of toll roads in this country (particularly EZ-Pass and video tolling style), and of license plate scanners, means that it would be trivial to tie a positional data stream to a license plate number unless the owner is trying very hard to fly under the radar (and probably has the assistance of someone inside the PD). Not saying that this will be misused, just that I don't see that there's any way to prevent its misuse. The reduction in vehicle fatalities MIGHT be worth it, but that discussion still needs to happen.

Comment A friend's Apple II+ (Score 1) 623

Basic and Assembler there (modifying programs out of Byte magazine). Later got a C64 at home, and my friend's dad got us in to use the Harris 4 mini at his office. Loved writing JCL on that machine - I wrote a routine that gave a quick status of who was logged in to what terminals, and what they were running on the machine - heard that the company was still using that utility about 10 years later!

Comment Re:Fragility still a concern? (Score 1) 313

I actually just recently replaced the Casio programmable (not graphing, they weren't available then) calculator that I originally bought in about 1979 or 1980. I did replace the battery once or twice, but the last time was at least 10 years ago (not that it gets a lot of use anymore). The only reason I replaced it is that I thought I had lost it - it was still working just fine, despite the crimp in the case from being dropped, and the fact that it lived in an outside pocket of my backpack for probably 5-6 years (high school and college).

Of course, after I bought the new one, I found it again, so now I have both...

Comment Re:Corrected Headline (Score 2, Informative) 360

Agreed - and now, having read the judge's decision (OK, to be honest, I skimmed sections of it) - he actually tossed out about half of the complaint. This motion to dismiss from NC-Soft was strictly on procedural grounds (alleging that the plaintiff hadn't properly worded things, etc.).

The plaintiff was originally representing himself (and may still be, that was unclear) - and the judge points out that federal courts give a certain amount of leeway to people who represent themselves, as it is assumed that they are at a disadvantage against a legal team (I didn't realize that, I had assumed somewhat the opposite, that courts would be a little harder on someone representing themselves, to make the practice less appealing). But a lawyer helped him amend his complaint (the judge had thrown it out twice, but given the plaintiff an option to amend (because he was representing himself) - after the second time, he apparently had a lawyer help him with it, and she was hauled into court to answer for herself (lawyers are generally not permitted to write documents for the court unless they sign them).

My guess is that the next thing to happen in this case is that NC-Soft will submit a motion for summary judgement, which will likely be granted, and returned in their favor. Reading between the lines, the judge doesn't seem to think too much of the plaintiff's claims.

Comment Re:Kudos (Score 1) 337

I had the same experience once. Spent a couple of hours with a friend at an arcade (back when we still had those) playing a racing game. Driving home afterward, I suddenly realized I was driving way too fast and aggressively. Since then, I just try to be aware of effects like that, and have not had it happen again.

Comment Re:Juries? (Score 1) 636

In the few jurisdictions that I have direct experience in, you are essentially agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial in exchange for lower court costs. You can request a jury trial, and you will be required to post a bond equal to some percentage of the expected court costs (which are usually at least as much as the speeding ticket, and are non-recoverable). It used to be that you could go in front of the judge and plead no contest, and he would generally knock the fine down just because you showed up in court. These days, they don't want you to even do that - they basically have office personnel that are certified as some type of magistrate, and you fill out the paperwork with them to get the lowest fee - but it will be what the ticket was written for. Contesting in front of a judge now means additional fees, so it's generally not worth it.

Comment Re:Indeed, but... (Score 1) 368

Yes to this and to the GP, but it depends a lot on the doctor. My former doctor really didn't listen to me at all, and tended to brush off any symptoms I brought to him (the only reason I ended up getting the knee surgery I desperately needed was that he felt, as a GP, that he wasn't completely qualified to evaluate joints. His exact words were "it's probably nothing, but I'll give you a referral to an orthopedic surgeon just in case."). My current doctor, on the other hand (and a big part of the reason why she is the current doctor for my whole family) is very much willing to listen to, and consider anything I bring up. But she knows that I am quite knowledgable for a layperson, and I only bring up possible diagnoses that are plausible, and worth exploring.

Comment Re:Well done, Spirit! (Score 4, Informative) 250

I wouldn't call it 'cutting corners', but actually, they did make some design decisions with the assumption that it only needed to last for 90 days. One example, off the top of my head: there was discussion about a mechanism to clear dust off the solar panels, but it was felt that the extra weight was not a good tradeoff, since NASA expected that the solar panels would not become completely dust-covered within the 90 days. Of course, we got lucky, and the winds turned out to be strong enough (and at least occasionally dust-free) to clear off the solar panels. Had that not been the case, the actual lifespan might well have been much closer to 90 days.

Comment Re:Movies based on R.A. Lafferty short stories (Score 1) 922

Lafferty has always been one of my favorite authors. That said, it would be really hard to translate most of his stuff into movies that didn't suck really badly - they're just not written with visual action in mind. Maybe the Barnaby Sheen stories could work, but I'm drawing a blank on any others...

Comment Re:Misleading title (Score 2, Informative) 450

Did you read the law you linked to? Section 8(c):

(c) No person shall, by reason of the provisions of this title, be considered as receiving diplomatic status or as receiving any of the privileges incident thereto other than such as are specifically set forth herein.

Seems like that pretty explicity states that this is not diplomatic immunity. Also, there is nothing in that law that says anything about immunity to local prosecution - which is the main thing that most people think of when they hear 'diplomatic immunity'. This act only grants immunity from suits or civil actions "relating to acts performed by them in their official capacity and falling within their functions as such representatives, officers, or employees".

Comment Re:Nothing to see here, move on (Score 2, Informative) 402

Does Arkham House (for example) really deserve to have the rights (and thus get a cut) of most of H.P. Lovecrafts works? Why the hell did they do to deserve such an eternal money maker?

Uh, yeah, they do deserve it. Arkham House was created by August Derleth, who was a friend of HP Lovecraft, and was a more financially successful writer. He didn't do it to make money, in fact he said (in 1970)"[T]he fact is that in no single year since its founding have the earnings of Arkham House met the expenses, so that it has been necessary for my personal earnings to shore up Arkham House finances."

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