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PIN-Cracking Robot To Be Showed Off At Defcon

PIPBoy3000 Re:Update in the next android (114 comments)

A patient prankster could make your phone unusable for a good long while. Similarly, setting your phone somewhere overnight that periodically tries to unlock the phone would mean you couldn't use it for 16 hours or so.

about a year ago

Ten Cops Can't Recover Police Chief's Son's iPhone

PIPBoy3000 Re:That's the police for you (277 comments)

I had Prey installed on my son's laptop, which was stolen along with a bunch of other things. After I told Prey it was stolen, we got a geolocation hit in a nearby town with the name of the hotel in the WiFi. The local police went out at midnight and collected it all for us. We drove over in the morning and brought them brownies.

more than 2 years ago

Magical Thinking Is Good For You

PIPBoy3000 Fixing computer problems (467 comments)

Sometimes I run defrag and delete my temp folders when weird issues show up. It seems to work enough times that I keep doing it. I can't tell if that's a fact-based decision or just superstition.

more than 2 years ago

Man Barred From Being Alone With Daughter After Informing Police of Porn On PC

PIPBoy3000 Careful with anecdotes (777 comments)

I recently had a great experience with police. We had a break-in, and all the laptops were stolen. Fortunately we had Prey on one of them, and it tracked the thieves to a hotel in a nearby town. The local police investigated and recovered almost everything. We drove over the next day and brought them brownies.

more than 2 years ago

Maine Senator Wants Independent Study of TSA's Body Scanners

PIPBoy3000 24 doctors (335 comments)

Looking at the demographics (PDF), it looks like 222 have law degrees and 24 have medical degrees.

more than 2 years ago

Thick Dust Alters NASA Mars Rover Plans

PIPBoy3000 Dust Devils (97 comments)

It's my understanding that dust devils have done a pretty good job of keeping the solar panels clean over the years.

more than 2 years ago

Why Google Is Disabling Kids' Gmail Accounts

PIPBoy3000 Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (228 comments)

A similar thing happened to me. My finance was signing my daughter up for a game when she put in her actual age. This purged her account completely, which was really annoying. I drilled into everyone's heads that they should always lie about their age on the Internet, which goes against my general policy of honesty.

The moral of the story is that laws have unintended consequences.

about 2 years ago

Terry Pratchett Considers Assisted Suicide

PIPBoy3000 Re:Possible treatments (838 comments)

It looks like aluminum likely doesn't cause alzheimer's. There was also some evidence that high doses of zinc can cause problems.
On the other hand, a recent study suggests that too much zinc might be the problem. In this laboratory experiment, zinc caused beta amyloid from cerebrospinal fluid -- the fluid that bathes the brain -- to form clumps similar to the plaques of Alzheimer's disease.

My general rule of thumb is to stay physically active, eat well, and stay mentally sharp. Mega doses of whatever likely aren't going to help much.

more than 3 years ago

Terry Pratchett Considers Assisted Suicide

PIPBoy3000 Depression (838 comments)

My mother in law is currently dying of cancer, in Oregon, with probably a few weeks to live. She's pretty depressed about it, though isn't considering suicide. My personal goal is to have her take the right medication so that she's as pain-free and comfortable as possible. Hospice is also covering 100% of all medical fees.

I guess what I'm saying is that legislating who can or can't commit suicide based on depression isn't necessarily the solution. Taking care of people so that they can be as high-functioning, pain-free, and financially secure is perhaps a more practical solution.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Adventure Game To Start With?

PIPBoy3000 Assorted adventure games (480 comments)

Neverwinter Nights can be picked up for $10 and runs on older machines. There is a huge amount of content out there, though the engine is a bit dated, people have made lots of things.

Minecraft is the mainstay in our household, perfect for a ten year-old. Build, explore, mine, and create your own world.

We had a good time with Trine, and up to three can play. It's a pretty game, though hooking up multiple mice and keyboards to a PC can be tricky.

more than 3 years ago

The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom

PIPBoy3000 Re:I really like Woz but.. (207 comments)

There is certainly value with long-term projects in education (I have a master's degree in biology education but am not currently teaching).

At the same time, I think there's immense value in giving regular feedback to students. I'm most fond of unified smaller projects which lead up to larger projects, with guidance along the way. Imaging starting a year-long course by saying "Everyone, build a content management system!" and not providing any indication of how they're doing until the end.

more than 3 years ago

A Mind Made From Memristors

PIPBoy3000 Re:Artificial Brains? (320 comments)

This is my great-great-great-grandfather. He has had his head replaced twice and his, erm, "handle" replaced three times. Grandad is a randy old gentleman.

more than 3 years ago

AVG 2011 Update Causes Widespread Problems For 64-Bit Windows

PIPBoy3000 Security Essentials (318 comments)

I used to recommend AVG, and have since switched to telling family members to use Windows Security Essentials. AVG isn't the lightweight, unobtrusive piece of software it used to be.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Finds New Life (This Afternoon)

PIPBoy3000 Re:Why this is important (405 comments)

It could also mean that panspermia happens (life seeding earth), but that there's not just a single type of life floating around in space. I can envision a universe full of bacteria that make their way into assorted planetary niches every once in awhile.

more than 3 years ago

The 5-Year Console Cycle Is Dead

PIPBoy3000 3DS, iPhone, Android (422 comments)

I think most of the innovation is in the hand held arena these days. New markets often get the focus of developers and manufacturers for awhile, but I think in time we'll circle back to consoles as graphics, processing, and sensing technologies improve.

more than 3 years ago

Pay Or Else, News Site Threatens

PIPBoy3000 Declining Subscriptions (549 comments)

Seems like a perfect solution to declining readership - sue them until they pay.

more than 3 years ago

Google Responds To Net Neutrality Reviews

PIPBoy3000 Choices (265 comments)

Comcast is clearly the best and fastest in my area, but there are others. I had Qwest DSL for a long while, through a local ISP. There's a wireless ISP that requires carrying around a good-sized radio receiver. Dial-up still exists.

Like you say, though, there's just Comcast for me. With Verizon moving out of the wired business, I doubt I'll get FIOS anytime soon.

more than 4 years ago

Regenerating Muscle Cells With Newt-Inspired Tech

PIPBoy3000 Short-hand (88 comments)

I believe this is simply short-hand for "selected by evolutionary processes". Even good science writers like to use "designed" on occasion, just like how physicists talk about electrons "wanting" to find the lowest energy state.

more than 4 years ago

Market Data Firm Spots the Tracks of Bizarre Robot Trading

PIPBoy3000 Emergent Behavior (483 comments)

I suspect that a fair amount of this is emergent behavior - complex patterns from simple rules. For example, if two bots are making test purchases of a stock, one penny greater than the last buy, up to a fixed, you end up getting these odd patterns. The two programmers may not have planned the interaction at all, though they have these weird Game of Life sort of patterns in the data.

more than 4 years ago



PIPBoy3000 PIPBoy3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PIPBoy3000 writes "Gamasutra is reporting that Bethesda Softworks now owns the Fallout franchise.

New filings with the SEC show that Oblivion and current Fallout 3 developer Bethesda Softworks has officially purchased the Fallout series IP from current holders Interplay for $5.75 million, with Interplay now acting as licensee for its own planned Fallout MMO.


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