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Comments

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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

Specter Re:I have serious doubts.. (101 comments)

A problem that Rise of Nations solved. Why that didn't make into SC2 is a mystery.

3 days ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

Specter Re:Car Analogy Time! (232 comments)

In Soviet Russia, insensitive clods BETA you mother!

about 2 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

Specter Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

+1 This is the most concise argument I've seen yet for why the current commenting system is so loved:

"... because the design permits unfettered chaos while providing the means for users to wade through it quickly and efficiently, so they can easily promote the best content to the top!"

OMG...focus your efforts on making this feature of the site more awesome and forget the rest of the window dressing.

about 2 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

Specter Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

You're wasting your breath frinsore. Many of us who had early access to the beta complained about the exact list of things that has the general /. population so upset. We were ignored.

You had your constructive feedback Soulskill and you pissed on it. Please stop coming here pretending to want feedback.

If you actually give a shit stop talking and prove it. Fix the stuff you've broken in beta.

about 2 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Specter Bullshit (2219 comments)

You are in fact not listening.

1) Vast wastelands of wasted white space in the margins? Still there.
2) Comment moderation slider? No.
3) UID Friends/Foes in the headers? No.
4) Ability to quickly link back to threads I'm commenting in? No .... The list goes on.

WE ARE YOUR REVENUE. We are the eyeballs you sell and the creators of your content; content (comments) that keeps people coming back. We are telling you that you're fucking up.

If you were listening we wouldn't still be having this discussion.

about 2 months ago
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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car

Specter Re:Herpin' the Derp (599 comments)

This is actually a very interesting question. For pure software you're licensing, not purchasing, and so the doctrine of first sale doesn't apply unless the license allows it. For a durable good like a car or a washing machine, clearly a second hand purchaser wouldn't be party to the original license contract and the software must convey with the vehicle (or appliance) as the software is integral to the function of the device. Generally speaking though, I thought contracts of adhesion were prohibited by law, so the second hand buyer might in fact be in the clear.

I wonder (not enough to look it up) if there's any established precedent on the question?

about 3 months ago
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Box CEO Talks European Plans, Warns About Meeting BlackBerry's Fate

Specter Re:what is "Box" (44 comments)

Their enterprise security and controls are better than either DropBox or Google.

about 5 months ago
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Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

Specter Re:Can someone please explain ... (658 comments)

"perhaps a similar approach would be to meter charging stations and tax on that?"

Also a simple and perfectly rational way to do it.

about 6 months ago
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Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

Specter Re:Can someone please explain ... (658 comments)

Huh..and to think I've been wasting my time getting an annual inspection in Texas every year. I do get that nice window decal though, so I guess it's not all bad.

about 6 months ago
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Would-Be Tesla Owners Jump Through Hoops To Skirt Wacky Texas Rules

Specter Re:"libertarians" against fair competition (470 comments)

Interstate commerce. Normally I'm all for state's rights, but this is one area where there's actually a Constitutional basis to tell the State to get bent.

about 6 months ago
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Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

Specter Re:Can someone please explain ... (658 comments)

Because it's not worth the time or expense to NOT tax you for driving on them when in the vast majority of cases private roads are going to be the exception rather than the rule. Ditto for out-of-state driving except in border counties in which case maybe you give them a % break as compared to someone on the interior.

I think meerling's comment that there currently is no state inspection in Oregon is a higher hurdle to jump; in that case, trade-off's aren't so clear.

I still think you come down on the side of simplicity as much as possible. Cover your 80% use cases at the least cost and complexity and simply accept that you'll have some sort of dead weight loss whatever you choose. I think it's vastly preferable to granting your state government an official license to track all your movements.

about 6 months ago
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Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

Specter Can someone please explain ... (658 comments)

why we're trying to over-complicate this? Take the odometer reading at annual inspection and be done with it.

Will there be corner cases where someone gets screwed under this system? Sure.

Is it worth all the trouble, expense, and privacy violations of being 100% perfect when 80% is good enough? No. Not even a little.

about 6 months ago
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The Cost of the US Government Shutdown To Science

Specter Re:Better model needed (355 comments)

"There are very strong arguments for why education should be regulated at a national level."

I'd like to hear them. I don't think the evidence has been very good that the D of Ed has had any positive effect on educational outcomes despite ever escalating expenditures on education.

about 6 months ago
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Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million — So Far

Specter Re:Rather early to call the site a failure, isn't (497 comments)

The important lesson here is that a project which ran over budget by more than 6x failed to meet a very foreseeable design requirement. Keep this in mind the next time you see someone on here assert that the ACA is going to reduce the deficit.

about 6 months ago
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Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

Specter Re:Someone forgot a LOT of things. (516 comments)

Yeah, I think they really missed the boat on this one: put up a pro-forma objection to the Republican delay plan, eventually give in to the Republicans (and thus getting what the ACA desperately needs: another year to work through the bugs), and then ride into the 2014 elections proudly trumpeting how they put the country before partisanship and pointing out that all of the ACA's benefits were delayed by the Republicans.

It was stupid of the Republicans to pick this fight at this date but it was even stupider of the Democrats not to cash in on it.

about 6 months ago
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Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

Specter Re:Failure to do their job of representing (516 comments)

Elected officials are supposed to represent the views of the people who elected them, not some other group of people that believe things that you like better. Regardless if the districts were gerrymandered or not, the people who got elected were elected by the people in those districts. If those people are being fairly represented by the people they elected, then it's working as designed.

If you want to proposed that we do away with the way districts are structured, then I'm in complete agreement with you in principle. But that's a battle for another thread.

about 6 months ago
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Health Exchange Sites Crushed By Demand; Shutdown Blanks Other Gov't Sites

Specter Re:Here is the difference Mr. President (565 comments)

I'm suggesting two things:

1) Congress screwed their own staff over, in the same way that they screwed all the rest of us over, because they couldn't be bothered to read and debate the bill before they passed it. So the Executive is going to fix their little 'oopsie' for them (illegally, I feel); for us? Not so much.

2) Employers are already making negative changes to their health coverage (or their projected health care coverage liabilities) and I think it's reasonable to assume this is going to continue if not accelerate. UPS cut off working spouse coverage with no change in compensation. On top of that, there are too many stories to list of companies that are cutting back working hours to avoid having to pay up under the law and that's certainly a cut in compensation.

about 7 months ago
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Health Exchange Sites Crushed By Demand; Shutdown Blanks Other Gov't Sites

Specter Re:Most "shutdowns" are completely unnecessary (565 comments)

"You know other countries have specific laws against the practice of tacking unrelated laws into government finance bills"

Oh, the irony. Had such a thing been in place the PPACA wouldn't have become law in the first place.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Disappointing Results from Pew/Smithsonian Science Survey

Specter Specter writes  |  about a year ago

Specter (11099) writes "Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine co-sponsored a quiz to test the science knowledge of Americans. Do you know which gas makes up most of the Earth's atmosphere? If you do, you're ahead of nearly 70% of the survey respondents who have a college education. That's right: I said college."
Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court rejects LG patent double-dipping

Specter Specter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Specter (11099) writes "Law.com reports that the US Supreme Court further restricted the powers of patent holders to attach post-sales restrictions on the use their patents. Applying the doctrine of "patent exhaustion," the Court prohibited LG from double-dipping by collecting additional royalties from customers of Intel who purchased products containing LG's licensed patents."
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GPL 3 Causing Lawyers Concern

Specter Specter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Specter (11099) writes "The GPL version 3 is apparently getting some attention in legal circles, especially as it relates to its interaction with proprietary software and patents. Edmund J. Walsh penned an article for Law.com discussing the GPL v.3 and the risks it poses for hardware and software companies."

Journals

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WWLD? (What Would Lucas Do?)

Specter Specter writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Do you have what it takes to be the writer/director of a major science fiction movie? Take this quiz to find out:

1) During a breath-taking but pointless introductory space battle scene one of your film's protagonists' space ships is set upon by parasitic robots, do you:

    a. Have the character use his mysterious "force" to throw the boarders from his ship?

    b. Have the character's wing man, who also has mysterious "force" powers, throw the boarders from the ship?

    c. Have the character's wing man crash their ships together in order to smash those robots real good?

2) Your film's protagonists have finally boarded the enemy space cruiser and are searching for a hostage to rescue. The cruiser is over-run with enemy battle robots (droids) with orders to shoot to kill. When your droids manage to completely surprise and "get the drop on" your protagonists do you:

    a. Allow the droids to use their superior electronic reflexes to fill the protagonists full of laser holes thereby aborting a bad movie before it really starts?

    b. Introduce a bit of "deus ex machine" and have the droids inexplicably reprogram themselves from shoot-on-sight mode to give-stupid-warning-and-then-stand-by-passively-and-die mode?

3) Your leading man returns home from a hard day fighting droids to learn that his secret wife is pregnant, do you:

    a. Use the opportunity to introduce conflict between the characters and present a weakness to the protagonist's foes thereby creating fertile ground for further character development?

    b. Pretty much ignore the pregnancy itself as a significant plot device with major ramifications for your characters and never revisit the topic again until it's time for the birth?

4) You've managed to get one of your protagonists involved in a completely pointless sub-plot. After using the "force" to smash his opponents with some of the local scenery, the protagonist must fight the level "boss" who can simultaneously wield four deadly "light sabers." Do you have your protagonist:

    a. Use the "force" to rip the arms off the "boss" and cut the boss to ribbons with his own light sabers?

    b. Hold the "boss" in place with the "force" and use the "force" to pick up a near by space ship and smash the "boss" repeatedly with the improvised cudgel?

    c. Use the "force" to bounce the "boss" around like a high tech basketball until he comes apart at the seams?

    d. Use the "force" to rip the beating heart from the "boss" in a manner reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

    e. Engage in a pointless light-saber duel that culminates in a fist fight and terminates with a simple shot from a blaster while totally ignoring the character's innate abilities.

5) At some point in your film you need to turn your protagonist from good to evil. Coincidently, the wife of your protagonist very badly needs to die before the next film. Do you:

    a. Allow your ultimate bad guy to hatch an evil plot to kill the protagonist's wife and blame it on the "good guys" thereby simultaneously providing the perfect reason for the protagonist to turn on the "good guys" as well as necessarily eliminating a character to advance the plot.

      b. Allow the protagonist to fail while trying to do the right thing and use his failure to do good as the impetus to commit an evil murderous killing spree including hacking up a bunch of seemingly defenseless children and then just have the wife, a central character in this film and two previous films, simply decide to quit living in the last few minutes of the film?

6) You've got a great segment of film that does a wonderful job of showcasing the wizardry of your computer animation department. Unfortunately it's also completely pointless and does nothing to advance the plot except perhaps to "introduce" a character your audience already met 28 real-life years ago. Do you:

    a. Leave the segment on the cutting room floor and use the extra time to explore the complex motivations that have led a young boy from innocence to the unfathomable depths of evil?

    b. Cut your losses due to wooden lead actor, include the segment anyway, and end it up with a scene where you can almost hear the frog-like hero saying "I'll get you next time Austin Powers!"?

7) In the final show-down scene the protagonist is utterly defeated, legless and literally burning alive beside a river of molten lava. The "good guy," who claims to love the protagonist as a brother, looks on at what appears to be the excruciating, slow, and painful death of his "brother." You need the protagonist to survive to the next trilogy of films. Do you:

    a. Have the good guy suddenly beset by natural forces or the intervention of the protagonist's allies, thereby preventing the merciful death blow and providing some semblance of logic for the protagonist to last until he can be rescued and restored for the next film.

    b. Have the "good guy" just walk away leave his "brother" suffering an agonizing death and don't bother to reconcile the "good guy's" self-professed love for his "brother" with the cruelty of allowing his continued suffering.

8) You have a character that's nearly universally reviled by your audience for being variously racially insensitive, poor comic relief, a stupid ploy to sell more toys, and/or as completely useless to the plot as an Ewok. Do you:

    a. Provide some salve for the decades of crushed dreams and hopes of your fans by executing this character in a graphic and obviously painful manner?

    b. Give the character a bit part at the end of the movie since killing the character might emotionally damage all of the children in the audience who were somehow unaffected by the all of the children murdered earlier in the movie and the graphic molten hot MAG-MA barbeque of their hero-turned-anti-hero protagonist?

9) One of the characters, a friendly droid, has been directly or indirectly involved in all the major plots of this film and its two predecessors. While the character should have a good knowledge of all the events that have transpired to date you need to somehow reconcile this character such that in the next three films he has no knowledge of anything that happened previously. Do you:

    a. Reveal that it was all a dream? No one shot JR, there are no midochlorians, and Jar Jar doesn't exist. It was all a bad dream and millions of Star Wars fans everywhere breath a sigh of relief and return to waiting for George Lucas to "do it right."

    b. Conveniently wipe the droid's memory while inexplicably failing to wipe the memory of his companion droid who would also share most of the memories of prior events and would therefore in later movies able to clue everyone else into the whole back-story?

Here are the correct answers:

1) C, 2) B, 3) B, 4) E, 5) B, 6) B, 7) B, 8) B, 9) B.

How did you do?

1-2: You're too concerned with verisimilitude; you should try writing books instead.

3-5: Not bad, perhaps if you suffered some severe brain damage you could have a future in the industry.

6-7: Almost there, try experimenting with mind-altering drugs more often.

8-9: You're made baby! There's a star with your name on it in Hollywood.

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Where'd my user reference to LPI go?

Specter Specter writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Some of you may have noticed that I stopped listing LPI's website (www.lpi.org) on my user information and wonder why.

I'm still involved and support LPI, but recently I've begun making postings to political threads at /. and I want to make it clear that those postings are my opinions and not anyone else's. I don't know and can't speak for the political beliefs of everyone associated with LPI and even if I did I wouldn't presume to do so.

Anyway, the politcal rants are mine. Not LPI's or anyone else's.

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