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Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

DisKurzion Re:Just another blowhard? (2247 comments)

Good news! He is!

I would say almost 50% reduction in military spending (given current spending trajectory) would be considered gutting.

more than 3 years ago

Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

DisKurzion Re:Not the right way (2247 comments)

Link to source: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/ron-paul-plan-to-restore-america/

That military budget you talk about slashing? Yea, he does that.
You are aware the plan totals over 1 trillion slashed? It's just the mentioned departments that got zeroed out. Most everything else also took a 15-40% cut.

It's probably one of the best budget plans proposed in decades, from the perspective of actually spending less than you earn.

more than 3 years ago

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

DisKurzion And every /. user posts their respects... (1521 comments)

I too must join the swarm. I discovered /. around 2001, and haven't gone more than a few days without it since. CmdrTaco (and crew!)...you have created one of the most influential geeky sites on the internet. I will keep an eye out for your next project.

more than 2 years ago

5.8 Earthquake Hits East Coast of the US

DisKurzion Re:wow (614 comments)

This is the first earthquake of any magnitude I (and a good number of other NE dwellers) ever felt.

I would certainly classify that as news, even if it wasn't a destructive quake.

more than 3 years ago

Security Expert Slams Google+ Pseudonym Policy

DisKurzion Re:Dumb for G+ (373 comments)

My profile has all of these items filled out. Only things viewable to public is Name,Gender, and a profile pic. Everything else is either shared with a specific circle, all circles, or extended circles based on how sensitive I find the info. Contact Info goes to specific circles. Education + Employment go to immediate circles. Relationship + Occupation go in extended circles, as that is largely public info, but not something I want shared with the whole world.

This is not rocket science people. Every one of those options was displayed in the very same prompt that that info was entered in. The only excuse someone has for not setting their privacy settings on their profile is "I'm too damn lazy to read."

more than 3 years ago

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers

DisKurzion Re:Either way it's going to be used as skew. (291 comments)

My recollection is that they started it with a limited number of authors and once they saw the effect on those authors sales, they extended it to most/all of their authors.

This would work wonders for the music industry. If Amazon or Itunes had a free album up for every artist, I would probably buy 10x more music online. A good 2/3 of my music pirating works along this logic:

1. Hmmm, never heard of this band before...let's download it and see.
2. If awesome, buy or add to wishlist (Money is tight, can't buy everything I want)
3. If crap, delete and never give a second thought.

If I could download a single album from every artist on iTunes that has multiple albums...that would virtually eliminate my music piracy.

more than 3 years ago

Carmack Addresses FPS Creativity Concerns

DisKurzion Re:Still doesnt excuse (280 comments)

Some of Half-life's puzzles were fun. The jumping puzzles were the single most frustrating and annoying part for me. The fact that the rest of the game was pretty damn good is the only reason I endured through those annoyances.

more than 3 years ago

Steam Now Offering Free-To-Play Games

DisKurzion Re:For what its worth... (152 comments)

I give you all of my imaginary mod points.

more than 3 years ago

Steam Now Offering Free-To-Play Games

DisKurzion Re:do not see the point... (152 comments)

This allows for you to have microtransactions handled by a single, relatively well trusted company, rather than having to trust your credit card info to multiple smaller ones.

This x 1000. While there are risks in having your transactions handled by a central company (hello Sony!), they are mitigated by a few factors:

If you only have CC Info with 1 company instead of 10, you only have to worry about 1 company being hacked.
On average, 1 larger company will generally have better security auditing than 10 smaller ones...especially a company like Valve.
Steam allows you to purchase, but not save CC info to the account (providing a similar level of security as prepaid points cards on consoles).

more than 3 years ago

Apple Bans DUI Checkpoint Apps

DisKurzion Re:more governmnet intervention (601 comments)

None of these freedoms are hurt by any of this. You're still innocent (if you're not drunk). There's no illegal search or seizure and you're not asked to explain what you're doing, just show that your alcohol levels are acceptable for driving, because there's no license plate that does it for you.

As someone who has been stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania (while sober), that is patently false. The setup I drove through went something like this:

Arrive at checkpoint (after waiting 15+ minutes in line)
Officer looks into car with flashlight (obviously doing a cursory search before even speaking a word to you).
Officer asks where you came from and where you are going. (obviously having to explain what you are doing)
Officer asks for license and registration.
Take a breathalyzer or blood test. Pretty damn invasive checkpoint with no probable cause if you ask me.

While I won't disagree that drunk driving is a serious issue that needs resolving in society...I would argue that giving police ever-more power is a far more serious concern in the long term.

more than 3 years ago

Univ. of Illinois Goes War-of-the-Worlds On Students

DisKurzion Re:Umm, 'scuse me? (168 comments)

At the school I work for, there was a major outcry when we implemented a universal SSO for the ever-increasing amount of online tools put out by our school.

There were numerous articles in the school paper decrying the change.

5 years later, and we could only imagine the outcry if we got rid of it: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN I'D HAVE TO MAINTAIN A SEPARATE PASSWORD FOR EVERY SYSTEM!!!???"

Students complain for the sake of complaining.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Conducts Massive Botnet Takedown Action

DisKurzion Re:Too true (302 comments)

Incorrect. Vast majority of users are stupid, because they fall for the same tricks over and over and over again.

Is someone who crashes their car while texting stupid? Not necessarily.
If, after getting into an accident because of texting, they continue to text while driving? Then I have to question their intelligence.

Face it...computers are no longer just an interest. Anybody who uses a computer for more than 5 hours a week should be competent enough to avoid the vast majority of attacks. The fact that the most basic of exploits are still usable is a sign of widespread stupidity.

If people weren't stupid, Nigerian email spammers wouldn't exist, because nobody would fall for their scam. I met someone who lost $2,000 to an email scam. I would not hesitate for a second to call her an idiot.

more than 3 years ago

Congressman Introduces Video Game Warning Label Legislation

DisKurzion Re:Wake up call to Congressmen (208 comments)

In other words, there is no causal link. The videogames can merely serve as a trigger, much as any frustrating activity could.

The years of bullying or the abusive parent were the causal link.

more than 3 years ago

OnLive To Be Built Into Vizio Devices

DisKurzion Re:more anti-consumer 'choice' in the market (73 comments)

Late to reply, but figured I will anyhow:

Aiming for a console experience includes the ability to resell games.

See my point 9...I bet you a nickel that the next gen of Xbox/PS/Wii will do everything in their power to eliminate resale.

What's the procedure that a studio is supposed to follow to get a game in?

Apparently that would be to send them an email or call them saying 'I am a developer':

about 4 years ago

OnLive To Be Built Into Vizio Devices

DisKurzion Re:more anti-consumer 'choice' in the market (73 comments)

To address your points:
6: Big whoop. Stated from the beginning that they were aiming more for a console experience, not a PC experience.
7: There are a bunch of Indie games on Onlive:

Madballs in Babo: Invasion
The Ball
The Maw
World of Goo

In fact, Onlive was the #3 contributor for Humble Bundle 2: http://www.humblebundle.com/

I'm sure there are more on there, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind. I'm sure if Notch approached Onlive, they would have no problem adding Minecraft once it is out of beta.

8: News flash: already a problem with consoles. People manage somehow.
9: Can't resell your PC games already. Publishers are already looking to eliminate console resale as well. Probably a moot point by next console gen.
10: Whatever. If they can make it subtle, and the ad crap doesn't physically touch my machine, I don't care.

about 4 years ago

Comcast Accused of Congestion By Choice

DisKurzion Re:Does it have to be a conspiracy? (434 comments)

Yes, as a Comcast customer, I can confirm this.

90% of the time we watch Netflix between 12 PM and 12 AM, we end up getting very low quality video (1 'bar'). I pay for the mid-tier service (not the "super-fast" gaming connection, but not basic either). Nothing else at the time is using the internet, other than maybe a bit of Stumbleupon on 1 PC.

Heck, even trying to stream Youtube at 720p requires a several minute wait as the video buffers.

It is unacceptable. If I actually thought it would accomplish something, I would complain. Sadly, Comcast is still the only reasonable option I have. DSL service equivalent to what I'm getting now would cost about $20 more a month than what I'm paying Comcast.

Just to test...I tried Netflix here at work...less than two blocks from where I live. They pay for an internet connection from Level 3. Full HD quality. HD Youtube streams instantly.

more than 4 years ago

Moodle 1.9 Extension Development

DisKurzion Re:Moodle is horrible (57 comments)

Moodle may be horrible...but what are the alternatives for Higher Ed?

Almost everything else is closed-source, expensive, and just as buggy, if not moreso.

The college I work for recently ditched Blackboard in favor of Moodle, because all of the 'core' functionality was comparable, but we could extend Moodle's functionality for free, instead of paying Blackboard's ever-increasing fees. We hand-rolled the following, for less overall TCO than we would have been paying Blackboard:
Integration with our SSO solution
Automatic course creation based on Banner data (Blackboard was a black box...we would have had to pay for this functionality).
Automatic add/drop of courses based on our Banner data (Again, would have had to pay extra for this).

The kicker is that we're running Moodle on Oracle, which required a bit of tweaking (especially for plugins) because Moodle was designed for MySQL. But the performance hit is worth it for us because the integration is easier to manage in an all-Oracle environment.

Yea, Moodle's codebase is a bit of a nightmare. But at least there is a codebase to work with, which is more than can be said for any other LMS on the market.

more than 4 years ago

Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging For PS3 Firmware Updates

DisKurzion Re:Doctors are a great example (454 comments)

I told them "With the new system do things this way," and they all did.

Then you were not working with idiots. I've worked with IDIOTS. I'm talking about people who freak out if their desktop icons get rearranged. I'm talking about people who submit helpdesk tickets saying 'something is wrong', but don't include any details whatsoever. Who insist that they need 7 different toolbars installed in their browser. People who write passwords on post-it notes in plain view. Who give me a blank stare when I say 'Double click the icon.'

They don't listen to you. They assume that any knowledge you try to impart on them (even as simple as 'On the new system, do this instead of this) is a waste of time. They expect you to fix any problem they have, and disappear.

I don't expect people to write scripts, use a command line, or compile. Heck, I don't expect them to install, configure, or update anything.

I expect people (who do their work on computers 6-8 hours a day) to be able to read an error message and fix their own icon arrangement without me babysitting them. I expect anyone who uses a computer for more than 1 hour a day to at least understand basics (start menu, right click, left click, double click). I expect people to be able to follow detailed instructions for very simple (changing desktop background) tasks. Sadly, most people I've come across are incapable of these simplest things.

more than 4 years ago

When the Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones

DisKurzion Re:Forward thinkers (506 comments)

Yawn.. Our local supermarket (Giant) has had the barcode printout for produce for years now. Replaced all the old-school hanging scales everywhere.

The cool feature we have is going 1 step beyond self-checkout even: Self-scanning as you shop.

You scan your bonus-card when you enter the store, you get a hand-held barcode scanner. You pick up an item, scan it, put it in your bags. When you're done shopping, you go to self checkout, it copies over everything you scanned, and you pay.

The system works well. They deter theft by doing random audits, which typically take less time than waiting for a cashier anyhow. Plus they take $2 off if you pass the audit. Fail 3 audits, you're banned from the system.

I love it, because most cashiers care more about speed than bagging things sanely. With this, I can sort all of my groceries as I shop (dry goods, freezer foods, refrigerated,non-foods, etc)

more than 4 years ago



GameStop opening Deus Ex boxes, removing free game

DisKurzion DisKurzion writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DisKurzion (662299) writes "A leaked GameStop memo indicates that employees are to open the regular PC release of Dues Ex: Human Revolution and discard the included OnLive coupon.

From TFA: GameStop spokesperson Beth Sharum confirmed the practice, telling Ars that "Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons."

If you buy a PC game retail, make sure the box is sealed!!"

Link to Original Source

The future of moviemaking

DisKurzion DisKurzion writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DisKurzion (662299) writes "As covered by torrentfreak, The Tunnel is the latest attempt to update the movie industry's dying business model. Instead of going through traditional routes, they are funding the movie by selling 135,000 frames at $1 apiece. One lucky frame will receive 1% of any money they make. After raising the money, once the movie is complete, it will be released on torrent sites."
Link to Original Source


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