Man Pays $200,000 To Save Fake Online Girlfriend
Some people get to wrapped up in the fantasy. The hope of love, easy riches, these both speak to a deep need in many of us.
A friend of mine once got engaged and moved the Scotland (from Massachusetts in the USA) for her Everquest sweetheart. Never having communicated with him in any way but online.
Now they didn't last more than a couple years, but it shows there are quite a few that never really alive in their own skin, and the prospect of making new friends in person causes stress and panic. But the need to connect is still there.
Personally, I feel for him even greater sympathy than those that lose their savings in a 419 scam; one has a core of inherent dishonesty -playing off ones greed for a quick payoff. This played off his need for companionship, and as he invested years, and thousands, into it, it wasn't for any form of payoff. Just to connect.
Consumers Buy Less Tech Stuff, Keep It Longer
I write this comment on my first gen MacBook pro from 2006. My media center is my old PowerBook G4 laptop from the panther release date in 2003, though I got it refurbished, so it's either a 2001 or a 2002. I plan on using this laptop for hopefully another year, until the second generation of lights... I mean Thunderbolt devices reach the market. Maybe hope for USB 3 and a bluray player (though I am not holding my breath on that one.). Then this computer will become my new media center, and the old G4 will go to a friend that wants something akin to a netbook, but with a decent screen... And free... For her first year at college.
Fox News Brings Video Game Violence Debate To a New Low
Do you know what I would like an update on Fox? If Sarah Palin's Alaska (the town she was a mayor of) still charges the victims of rape to process their kits, or why Alaska in general has twice the national average of rape with just a fraction of the arrests? Or why there is 180,000 unprocessed and improperly stored rape kits around this country? Or why in most cases of "Stranger Rape", many states police forces do not even process the kit until old fashioned police work finds a suspect. Seriously. The running of DNA against other cases and suspects is so rarely done. When New York passed the ten day processing law (it does have six month of wiggle room here and there, but really they are now the golden standard of DNA labs; above the FBI in many ways), the rape solving rate went up to 70%, and started linking the far more common than previously thought serial rapists.
Or the fact that the FBI still classifies rape as "Unwanted forced vaginal penetration by a penis." Forced sodemy, raped by objects, forced oral, female on male, and male on male are all not "rape" by the FBI.
Or the disgusting rape statistics of Texas and many other red states. Is it any surprise that they are trying to limit federal funding for abortions by defining the context of "Rape"? Makeing a "Gradient of rape"? How soon before they try to pass that across the board?
Swiss Bank Has 43-Page Dress Code
"And when opening new accounts for African dictators, "intelligence" groups, mercenaries, drug-lords, and the odd nazi"
Actually in the last decade, the war on terror has destroyed the anonymity of Swiss banking. Which despite the Swiss stating they don't want people to use their banks for money laundering or tax evasion, the fact that many who have/had accounts there were doing just that. So being a signatory on an international banking treaty to prevent a terrorist wiring funds around to his pals, it has actually ended the golden age of Swiss banking. And more and more people are withdrawing their funds, leading to a massive downturn in their principle "export". Back in the eighties and before many Swiss banks had a before custom suite, that had their own ability to clear customs and inspect "but not stamp" passports. So you could enter the room, transfer a few bonds, and then be allowed to enter Europe without having your passport stamped. Which if you ever encountered this was a fairly terrifying indication that if you had enough money, you were essentially exempt from needing to declare yourself...
These days China is the place to be if you are an aspiring lord. There is a reason when you read about all the new scams, the novel Malay 419 the other day, or the house sale without owner consent from months past ended with the funds entering china. They are one of th last place that advertises that the banker is always right. And are large enough to protect that.
Police Seize Computers From Gizmodo Editor
Well, admitting to having bought an expensive item that was not the sellers (hot, though not stolen....), refusing to return it to the rightful owner, etc....
Thats like saying you get drunk in a bar, go to another bar, also get drunk, and forget where you parked your car. The car still had its keys in the ignition. It was taken for a joyride by a teenager that happened upon it. Now, here you were a drunken fool, and he was a bit of a dick for taking a car that showed no owner... Now say that car was the new prototype of a sports electric hybrid from Mercedes. Why, this teen decides to sell it to GM, to see if he can get some fun cash.... GM creams itself to pick apart the prototype, gleaming and cribbing a few ideas here and there for their new car, that they rapidly force into production, with its own version of the hot new features, before Mercedes releases its long awaited car. GM admits to having bought the car, saying how it now has access to excellent German designs. Investors are thrilled.
MB demands the return of its prototype, and GM laughs at them and states they bought it from a source that found the lost prototype, and had attempted to return it to a MB reseller to no avail, and therefore they did nothing wrong. MB contacts the police - who then seize the prototype, and all the computer files that might have documentation of the corporate theft....
British Prisons Help Addicts Relapse Before Re-Entering Society
It was better when any addict could get a prescription for the drug itself, at an insanely low cost. You can be "very" functional on opiates, so long as you keep it up. Now that was state sponsored drug dealing.... Low, pure heroin with a prescription if you are an addict; and to be an addict you just had to tell your doctor you were.
Violent drug dealers could not compete, and went to other organized crimes. Crime rate was much lower because the addicts could afford their fixes, and a failed drug test could be said "I have a prescription" and keep their job.
To lament better days before the US forced Britain to adopt its "methods".
Will ACTA Be Found Unconstitutional?
A few people seem to have forgotten how Democracy works in this country, as is lined out by our constitution:
First we have the Soap Box (The right to peaceably assemble, freedom of speech, etc.)
Then we have the Mail Box (The protection of out letters, as well as the ability to write to our representatives in the government and tell them our views.)
Then we have the Ballot Box (The electoral college, voting in senators and representatives that agree with your ideals, etc, in case the previous representatives did not work to your needs.)
Then we have the Jury Box, (Where we can vote that a law or enforcement of a law is unjust. You do not have to vote guilty if a law is broken, you can vote towards nullification... True the courts are trying to ignore this right whenever possible, but we still have it. If you have jury duty, and think cannabis should be legal, and you are sitting in a trial for a non-violent offense of a guy growing pot for his friends and not receiving cash -as example, easier to convince the rest of them with this one- then remind the rest of the jurors that here and now you can work to end the prosecution of cannabis, and work to end the laws.... If you vote together, then he goes free despite being guilty of that law. There will be appeals, and the law will be reinforced by a jury of judges, but if that happens "every" time, the law will eventually be removed.)
And then we have our right of last resort: The Ammo Box.... (The second amendment is not your right to go deer hunting with a rocket launcher, it is your right to not only bear arms, but to be trained in militias to use them. Until recently, many people would keep weapons from the war in their garage, thinking nothing else of them.... Someone on the block maintained his cannon from the war in his garage, just in case he was called again. But the second amendment as viewed by the author of it, George Mason, was to protect us from the threat of an overreaching government that no longer listens, or works for, the People. -"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." Now, if you really want to be patriotic, gather every able bodied friend you have, and organize a militia. Train together, express your desire to protect your town if those damn Canadians invade, or the British come back.... Or anything really. And, worst case, should America turn against Americans, you now have the last line of defense to bring the power back to the people. But at that point, its not about letters anymore. Its about being willing to die for your fellow American. Because there are good chances you will. You will die for your beliefs, and kill other Americans, the soldiers and such, before you fall. You better have noble reasons in your heart, and know that true, because your group will either be a rallying point for all others, or you will be wiped out, vilified by all, and forgotten.
Then we have the Dirt Box (Re-hash of the Freedom of speech and press. The government does not have the right to hush out and kill an idea, and it gets harder all the time. Did we use these boxes in full in our lives? Will our actions and causes be remembered? Did we print and write and spread our thoughts like seeds into the wind, or was the most we did in life amount to a few +5 posts on Slashdot? Or did we manage to stop the corporatocracy, and bring back the Democratic Republic that we hold dear? Did we put a few extra term limits on each level of government, so that we will not just become a plutocracy in most things again? Where rick lawyers can no longer "retire" into a lifetime of politics- preserving the institutions that make lawyers rich in the first place? If you want to have a better system of health care, stop electing politicians that are former malpractice lawyers.... Lawyers will always make sure lawyers are needed in the future. If you don't like ambulance chasers, don't think he will do better running you local governmental institution.....
And thats our government in a nutshell. If you don't like something, write down what you want to happen, start collecting signatures; even if it means missing the new episode of House you want to watch.
GM Is Selling Saab To Spyker Cars
Correct me if I am wrong: In all of my financial learning, it is not "taking a bath" When you sell a product more for more then simply retiring the brand. In fact, you gain a profit if you now do not have to handle the termination of all the employees....
This is something, instead of nothing. I call it a win.
True, they would of been able to sell it for far more if they had not completely devalued the brand, but they have no right to complain on that fault.....
Uranus and Neptune May Have "Oceans of Diamonds"
Actually, the solvents used, high energy machines, etc are still a bit more than a few cents a diamond.... Personally, I think that a raw, uncut artificial diamond is a good indicator for the value of a similarity pure diamond crystal from nature. And then there is the cutting, its quite expensive as it is a bloody hard thing to do right, takes a good eye, etc...
Even sea salt has a value, after all.
Artificial diamonds grown in sheets are not for the gems, though right now I think that is helping pay some of the bills, its more for producing lab equipment and other things that would benefit.... Though if it does ever get to a few dollars a sheet, then we will see some really cool things, from computers, to even more mundane things like a watch face. Even more scratch resistant than the artificial sapphire currently used... And touch screens....
Russian Whistleblower Cop Arrested
I'll actually log in for this one...
First, if it were me doing the "quieting of an unfavorable", I would seek anything to discredit him first. Get to his family to discredit him as a person, probably with threat of force and some other bribe. Then I would pressure his bosses to show he was on a termination list for something else, like paedophilia or something else quite heinous.
In a case of a cop exposing corruption, and complaining about poor working conditions for the "good cops", this shitting on everyones parade including the government he is apealing towards? That doesn't take a normal assassination to quite, that would create a martyr; worse yet, a martyr for the people with guns. You need to start with character assassination.
You then make it to be he was the worst of the worst, his career in shambles, everyone knowing he was a corrupt cop, and worse, a horrible husband, perhaps a rapist, etc. You make it so bad when you finally put him in a cell, his face covered by the spittle of those he tried to protect, then you make it easy for him to end the madness, his world turning into hell, to end it all. Sheets that make fine rope and high tie off places; razors that just pop out of the plastic casement and can be held in the hand; perhaps pills to quite the nerves and the nurse is called away with that bottle open on the counter. If he does himself in, he is only confirming his own guilt.
And of course, if he has strong enough will not to kill himself, prison is a violent place. And he is a former cop. Its easy enough to say he picked a fight and was stabbed, or made a run for the fence to earn a double tap in the head.
What Clown On a Unicycle?
Thank gods I was on my cell reading slashdot, or I would of had to notice that. *shudder*
Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project
Tend to show the deranged thoughts of the teachers more than anything else... I remember my project netted me a month of drug counseling, because the application "could" of been used to grow cannabis.... The project was just a kid showing how plants grew differently in different media, hydroponically, with soil, with microorganisms that were advertised to help bind nitrogen in roots and increase growth, and with plant hormones. (All save hydroponically done in the same bag soil, just with the different additives...)
So my project was removed, and I was instructed not to build any more hydroponic settups in my spare time... Which my parents told me to ignore in my own home, but still.....
Obama Kicks Off Massive Science Education Effort
"Get out of your chair, go sit in your hummer, and without leaving your garage, turn it on and listen to Mike Savage until you fall into a deep, permanent sleep.
On the other hand, I've found that building a chair with a child (I'm fond of this hiking staff I found on instructables that converts into a tripod chair... Cost me $6 to make and gets tons of usage....) , showing them how your engine works (The diesel Humvee isn't all that wasteful a car... The mileage is about par to a "normal" car... Horrid by diesel standards, but not too bad. That and once you put the two tank system on it to run WVO that you salvage from the dumpster of a Chinese food restaurant, pretty good all around...), go inside and watch Adam Savage and crew bring science to the masses (Even Mr. Wizard blew things up from time to time.... Gets little boys and girls open their eyes wide like fireworks, then bombard with questions of "how that happened...), then do some 5BX as a family and go to bed...
For each horrid, lazy, sociopathic member of society, I think the growing "Maker" movement are teaching themselves, and their children, what they missed in our generation of cuts and protection. And if that is the case, over time these better rounded groups will rise in society... Or at least in the comfort of their own lives....
Bad Driving May Have Genetic Basis
Some say all his posts on slashdot are marked +5 insightful, before he submits, and that his teeth are so white snow around him melts.
All I know is he is called The Stig....
How To Prove Someone Is Female?
Well, the sport in question needs to decide one of either of these simple diagnostic criteria in segregating their sport:
Either you go by genetic screening, in which case "Y makes the guy". They could have an extra chromosome or two, or even be missing one, but so long as they do not have a "y", they are female.
Its done by respective genitalia, having been born that way, or surgically altered. Basically where do you want transvestites to compete? It's almost purely a PC issue, but the lack of testies is a bit of a handicap in some cases. Though then what about testicular cancer survivors? Brings up a slew of arguments. Maybe the creation of a third catagory is needed in some cases. Though then would it have the player density to be interesting to watch, and would it bring a stigma to those in that catagory? Heck, I know of some female golfers that t off with the men at their t, play with normal clubs, and use pink ladies... (as are the men... Though this reference is a bit dated...) and if they were pro, would preffer to compete in the mens leugue, as they feel it would
be more challenging and bring more respect.
Two options, one with a third ammendment that could be chosen as well. Personally? I would go with genetics. I think it's more fair. And only for sex chromosomes. I could care less about any other genetic condition that could give them an edge. If athletes that lack the ability to feel lactic acid, or have a slew of other enhancements, then cool. It might kill the sport for those without those genes, but then more and more will have these genes in competition. Or not. Who knows what the future holds? Though if you start screening on genes asside from sex, then you drive out these "super athletes". The you get a question for if "they" should have their own league? And if others without these enhancements bred onto them can compete for greater glory? And soon all these complications add together to really make ones head hurt, and detract from the sports in question.
Then again, I only watch curling, play a little golf, and generally ignore the rest.... So I might not be the best opinion on the matter...
Adjustable-Focus Glasses Can Replace Bifocals
Reading glasses: $2 at Northern Tool. Regular prescription glasses: $40 from internet (china). Total cost: $42.
Cost of an electrical computer in 1954 : $400,000, not including the power cost for operation, the cost of either a new building to house it or several structural modifications, etc. And then there is highering a couple computers to check the equations going in, technicians to keep it operational, a supply of new tubes as they burn out... Why, you could be spending a million dollars there.. In your first year alone.
Cost of hiring 40 computers to solve any problem that computer can, and far more, and in some cases faster? $165,500. And you didn't even have to pay to power them, food them, house them in any way except the office building you have anyways? And in the end these computers will pay taxes, raise families, and support the economy.
With an argument like that, why would you even want the cost of an electrical computer? Costs more, does not have a long-term savings of labor saved, and just takes away from honest hard-working labors - as said, without saving money- that sounds down-right unpatriotic...
10 Business Lessons I Learned From Playing D&D
Better than the lessons I learned playing Diplomacy... How to lie, cheat, and swindle your best friends to their face, then band with my enemy to crush them and take their lands... So I might be that much stronger when I go for my true enemies...
Though the lessons one learns LARPing also throws in how to tread softly, gain confidence and outtalk your enemies, to make friends, how to fix 'Anything' with duct tape, that you are not paranoid if everyone really is out to get you, and adds a good amount of running around in fresh air... Really, if you love D&D, look for your local NERO chapter (nerolarp.com/) and give being an NPC a shot, a free way to experience the game... (Yes, there are other LARPs out there, but its a good starting point...)
Klingons Cut From Final Star Trek XI Movie
Actually, they did cover that in one of the movies... The universal translator does translate language perfectly, but it leaves an audible "twang" (or mild offset of speech, or something) of translation. As seen when the crew is breaking out a Klingon dictionary so they can speak actual Klingon, without detection of being forgers.
And with a very nationalistic, and prideful people such as the Klingons, and given the difficulty some of them have with the human language/s, it could be that many forgo the translator and attack translation with brute skill... Or as with the occasional speaking of French, it could be simply that all 'can' hear a difference in all languages, so those that do take the time to learn the original, and as thus not need their translators to work on those phrases (if they can alter the base programing), or simply can recognize the phrase and realize the significance.
South Park Creators Given Signed Photo of Saddam Hussein
We ostensibly invaded Iraq to liberate its people and bring them democracy. By applying anything short of our own standards of justice, we betrayed both these purported goals and showed our true colors.
But you see, that is a problem in itself. We invaded under the pretense of bringing "Democracy", when our own founding fathers cringed at the thought of it. America is not a democracy. We are, and should strive to be, a Republic.
A democracy is popular demand. Which sounds great, but if there is a large group of people that think it would be better without your small group of people, bad things happen. A republic is a government of the people, for the people, and from the people.
We Should of gone into that nation on the pretext (If at all) of bringing in Our System. One of checks and balances. And a written constitution protecting all of the citizens, regardless of religion, race, sex, or views. And we should of remained a protectorate of that nation until its people grew to accept that this Law is above the Law preached in their places of worship, or the Law of the angry mob in the street... About, what, thirty years after we establish a board of education system to endoctorate the youth that this system is right, and just, and all of mankind are equal...
Maker Faire Storms Newcastle
I brew, LARP, enjoy my model rocketry, tan leather, have taken up shoemaking, knit, dabble with my electronics, blow glass, and am working on a forge to take up blacksmithing, and quite a few others...
Now, I use it as a gauge. For every ten people that mock that, I find one that find one of the things above interesting and want to find out more. If more people were willing to take a few ribs, then we would slowly be more mainstream. Hell, I refer to LARPing as "my silly little game in the woods", and my co-workers have not only stopped looking at me with blank stairs, but because of my self assured nature over it being a good time, and light-hearted joviality over the subject, I've actually been able to rope quite a few into the hobby.
Don't be defensive about your hobbies; flaunt them. There are plenty of people like you, but in the closet on the issue. Help bring them out. If you brew, hand out a few bottles. If you like rockets, always offer with a smile to come out to a launch.
Embrace your hobbies, embrace yourself, and be tired of fitting in the crowd. Its not high-school any more. You are not going to be beaten to a pulp in the hallway. You might be laughed at, but if someone is so bent on laughing on you for being, well, you, are they even worth knowing?