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Comment Re:The lesson here isn't about free speech (Score 2) 400

> Oh, did I mention that since he had adopted the two kids she had from a previous marriage,
> he was paying child support for them, too?

So? An adopted child is equivalent to a biological son. Legally and ethically. The problem, in this case, is with your brother. If he resents his adopted children, then that reflects on his character and not the legal system.

Comment Re:Fear economics (Score 1) 220

You are correct. Analysis of this nature focuses on the aggregate. It is a question of market efficiencies and not how it impacts a particular individual; a market by definition is many individuals. Can a commodities market guarantee a non-disproportionate impact to every subset without negatively impacting the rest?

My simplified accounting models don't take into consideration the pressure put on the industry by PC manufacturers, GPU manufacturers who have been hurt by this shortage. The end result could easily be a more resilient market either through greater geographical spread and/or more resilient (i.e., flood resistant) plants. If it is decided, however, that this is a rare 100 year fluke, then the costs may not pencil out for anyone, including the general buyer.

Comment Re:Fear economics (Score 1) 220

For the buyer, the equivalent question would be: Are the cost savings of purchasing cheaper disk drives due to efficiency more than offset by the cost premium during the rebuild. This is less an economics question than an accounting one. What time frame would be used for comparison? Say the prices will come down to pre-flood levels by October 2012, a one year period, as expected. Say the total extra purchase costs to the buyers (which will be roughly correlated to the losses plus rebuild of the manufacturers) is X dollars for that one year. Say, also, that the aggregate savings for one year between an overbuilt but resilient industry vs. a more efficient, compact one is Y. If Y > X, then a good deal. But in actuality, the efficiencies have gone on for years. So, if the disk drive industry has been efficient for (say) 5 years, then the question would be: is 5 * Y > X (all calculated to present value, naturally)? If yes, again, a good deal. I don't have the answers but I can guarantee that this is being analyzed to determine whether it would be more cost effective to be geographically spread out.

Comment Re:Dick Morris (Score 1) 1005

It almost comes off as intentional that this occurred the day after the SOPA protests

I highly doubt one had to do with the other. The Feds ... take their time and line up all the ducks before they pull the trigger.

That's correct. However, it isn't farfetched to consider the possibility that someone in the administration asked the DOJ if the case was ready and if it was, then asking if they could please do it now. The administration was in hot water with interested deep pocket donors (media) by criticizing SOPA which they were forced to do now because it was coming up for a vote and other deep pocket donors (silicon, civil libertarians) were against it. In other words, if they hadn't criticized SOPA, then the DOJ arrests probably would not have happened today. Maybe next week, maybe next month or more. They wouldn't have agreed if the case wasn't sufficiently ready but timing here is everything.

Comment Re:Bah. This was the correct decision. (Score 5, Interesting) 380

No. This would be ex post facto: Something that was once in the public domain, and legal for anyone to copy, and you copied it when legal, say, in 1990. Congress passed a law in 2012 that not only made it illegal to copy it in the future but retroactively made your 1990 act illegal. That would be unconstitutional. That is not what happened. That said, there are constitutional questions (just read the dissent).

Comment Re:Total non-sequitur (Score 1) 261

Interesting sources. 1. Writing in Human Events, a conservative magazine. an editor of the National Review (ditto), weaves several speculative ways voter fraud *could* occur and then lists two people who were in fact convicted. Two. Even though he links to Pajamas Media (ditto) which, with no citation, talks about "indictments, convictions, or investigation" in other states. 2. Missouri Watchdog & a local news program identified one *possible* "dead voter" but the article does allow for a clerical error. This was a 9 months ago and I can find no other follow up about this problem. This report came right before the November election and was handled with the typical "scary voice". This is the state that wants to raise the bar even further by requiring proof of citizenship (original birth certificate, naturalization papers or a passport), because, naturally, illegals must be voting illegally in droves, which will go further to disenfranchise voters. 3. My favorite was the Washington Post link which has nothing whatsoever to do with voter fraud. It has to do with legislation that allows for this time line: Voter mails in absentee ballot. Subsequently dies before the vote count. Should his vote be counted? The legislation said yes. This is typical of the documentation of "rampant voter fraud" (vs. registration fraud which is an entirely different animal). I don't know about voter fraud, but voter suppression is certainly a national tradition.

Comment Something newer than 10-15 years old (Score 1) 480

Apparently most are fondly remembering their youthful days of Lucas and/or MUD adventuring. I too love my days of MUDding and Lucas was revolutionary and influential -- my kids (and I) loved them back in the day! However, I don't believe a contemporary 10-year old would have much patience with a MUD or GOG-updated 10-15 year old games (with the exception of the Monkey Island remakes).

If you want a great contemporary adventure game (and, yes, I'm ignoring the fact that you apparently aren't asking about adventure games per se), I would highly recommend "Edna & Harvey: The Breakout" from 2011, easily one of the best games I've played in years. Very traditional but has both a fascinating story line, great voice acting and the wonders of a different (and usually quite witty) response to 98% of combination attempts. None of the repetitive "No, that doesn't work", but a unique on-point retort. The programmer claimed 30,000 lines of dialogue!

Another one from the same company is "The Whispered World". Artistic backgrounds, great story, great voice action. Highly recommended.

Both of these are from Germany -- the Germans are the ones making the best adventure games these days). Another is "The Book of Unwritten Tales" from 2009. This is more 3-D, a bit of action, delightful story. Problem: it's only in German but you can grab fan-written subtitles.

Black Mirror II & Black Mirror III are also recommended. Culpa Innata. The Runaway & Broken Sword series are good for a Lucas-like experience. And, yes, I'm still a connoisseur of adventure games at 57. :) Today I'm playing "The Next Big Thing" -- she would love it! Hilarious!

Submission + - Cheap GPUs Rendering Strong Passwords Useless ( 1

StrongGlad writes: Think that your eight-character password consisting of lowercase characters, uppercase characters and a sprinkling of numbers is strong enough to protect you from a brute force attack? Think again! The modern GPU can be leveraged as a powerful tool against passwords once considered safe from bruteforce attack.

Take a cheap GPU (like the Radeon HD 5770) and the free GPU-powered password busting tool called 'ighashgpu' and you have yourself a lean, mean password busting machine. How lean and mean? Working against NTLM login passwords, a password of "fjR8n" can be broken on the CPU in 24 seconds, at a rate of 9.8 million password guesses per second. On the GPU, it takes less than a second at a rate of 3.3 billion passwords per second. Increase the password to 6 characters (pYDbL6), and the CPU takes 1 hour 30 minutes versus only four seconds on the GPU. Go further to 7 characters (fh0GH5h), and the CPU would grind along for 4 days, versus a frankly worrying 17 minutes 30 seconds for the GPU.


Submission + - Pranksters Post Giant Windows Logo on Apple Store 1

theodp writes: Working calmly in broad daylight and filming their efforts for YouTube posterity, a fake construction crew attached a large Microsoft Windows logo to the black facade of a soon-to-open Hamburg Apple Store. Neat hack in the MIT vein, but next time the crew might want to take along a pic of the Windows logo — with the adrenaline flowing, some of the colors got rearranged and were hung upside down.

Comment Re:the love of cloud (Score 1) 333

That's why you don't go for an all-in-one solution. For the most critical/confidential stuff (email, financial data), wrap it in a TrueCrypt container, use Mozy for its delta-block backups -- only backups blocks in the container that have changed. Yes, it means you have to download it in full to recover, but mine fits within a 2 GB file -- easy to download. I'm secure. For the non-confidential but important and ever-changing data (pdfs manuals of everything I've ever owned, save games), I use Mesh which provides 5 GB for free. This syncs similar to Dropbox but does not do delta-changes. I don't care if someone knows where I'm at in Fallout New Vegas but I'd be really bummed if I lost the save game. For the important static data (my collection of pics), I use Adrive -- 50 gb free. I then use Microsoft backup image of my system disk. I also use Acronis to create a backup image of my system disk (suspenders and a belt). I use RoboCopy to external drives of all of my music, movies, games. I'll lose them if my house burns down, but I can always recreate if necessary.

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