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Comments

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What To Expect With Windows 9

Whorhay Re:Nothing Useful (493 comments)

It sounds like most of your complaints are cosmetics. I have different tastes and one of the first things I did when forced to use Win7 at work was disable Aero. I spent a lot of time beating the UI into submission to look as much like XP as possible. I'm still stuck with a start menu with a stupid scroll bar though because our UAC policies won't let me install something to actually fix that.

8 hours ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Whorhay Re:Minecraft itself is a phenomenon, but (324 comments)

This is definitely true for some people but not so much for others. I've been playing for years on and off and the only mods I've ever installed where things like optifine to enable higher quality textures. I also have a number of nephews who only started playing in the last year or two, and one of my own kids wants to play it. The nephews saw me playing it while visiting, were enthralled, and eventually pestered their respective parents into getting it for them. I really don't see the market for this kind of game going away. If somone comes along and does it better somehow in a way that matters for children it might get pushed aside.

There are plenty of games that do individual components of Minecraft better, but none of them put it all together into a game that appeals to the same set of people. Landmark has the beautiful world and remarkable tools for altering it, but it is also far more complex than most six year olds could manage to use. Terraria has a much better combat and progression system, but it is a side scroller and so lacks the allure of a 3d world. I'm sure we can come up with plenty of other examples.

The bottom line is that Minecraft is pretty enough, simple enough, and cheap enough that it appeals to a huge range of age groups. But critically it works for little kids, which means that every day their are new customers being born. Market saturation just isn't likely to really happen in the near term.

yesterday
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Whorhay Re:Microsoft can now kill Java (324 comments)

Honestly the graphics being "outdated" was a feature for many players. It meant more of a focus on the actual gaming elements than window dressing. Besides which there were mods very early on that improved the graphics and lighting.

Minecraft is also the first game I knew of that literally evoked a sandbox feel. Games before it were described as "sandbox" but that really just meant you had a wide amount of freedom in the game. Minecraft actually allowed building and destruction on a scale which no other game had done before, at least not that people had heard of. Of course it was inspired by Infiniminer and Dwarf Fortress but those are very niche unknown games by most any comparison.

Also so far as the pricing goes, I remember that when I bought my copy it was closer to $13 because of the exchange rates. Regardless when the transaction servers melted down under the load after Penny Arcade talked about it, Notch made the current version available for free until the transaction servers were back up and a new version was ready weeks later. In my opinion that was some amazing good will, or very shrewd business sense, at a critical moment of growth.

yesterday
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Whorhay Re:Great one more fail (582 comments)

Stupid really doesn't even start to cover it. He was just a teenager, but I had gun safety hammered into me before my Father ever let me touch even his pellet gun.

3 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Whorhay Re:Great one more fail (582 comments)

Keeping guns out of the reach of very young children is important. But just as important is teaching older children and adults about proper gun safety. I worked with a woman who was standing shoulder to shoulder with her best friend when that friend's boyfriend shot her in the face with a large calibre muzzle loader. He wanted to show off his dad's gun and took for granted that it was unloaded. He thought it was perfectly safe to use a percussion cap so it would make a small bang when he pulled the trigger.

Never leave a firearm laying around or stored loaded.
Always assume a firearm is loaded until you can physically verify that it is not.
Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded, even if you have already proven that it is not loaded.
Never point a firearm at something that you do not intend to shoot momentarily.

3 days ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Whorhay Re:Is it really that dangerous? (324 comments)

Fatalities being down can be attributed to all kinds of other factors, such as:
Better safety features in general as older unsafe cars age out.
Safer road and traffic engineering.
Red light cameras reducing incidence of fatal T-Bone style accidents.
Better emergency medical response.
Poor economy for most people resulting in less driving.

3 days ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Whorhay Re:It's easy (324 comments)

I don't know that I would go to DUI levels necessarily to me. But where I live using a cell phone while driving looks like it should fit the elements for Reckless Driving. Which can have a hefty fine although not cripplingly so, and or anywhere from 5 to 90 days in jail, and possible suspension of license. Honestly I think having a serious threat of going to jail for a few days minimum would cut the amount of casual cell phone use while driving pretty effectively.

3 days ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Whorhay Re:Fines work better ... (324 comments)

Where I live they passed an essentially toothless texting while driving law a couple years ago. The law bans any use of a phone without a hands free kit of some sort while driving. But you can't be pulled over for it, it can only come up as an additional offense. The fine is also a measly $40 or something and doesn't add points to your license.

In my opinion using a cell phone or similiar device shouldn't get it's own special law. That kind of behaviour is just reckless and as such should fall under reckless driving laws.

3 days ago
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Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

Whorhay Re:You cannot patent an idea (110 comments)

Software is not a machine, it is a set of instructions for a machine to execute. In this sense it is identical to a recipe, which is not patentable. It is however subject to copyright, which comically enough has longer terms of protection than patents do under current US law.

4 days ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Whorhay Re:Never carry lots of Cash (462 comments)

An important first step I believe would be to make that first small claims suit directly against the officer(s) involved. LE agencies rely on the officers on the front lines to do these confiscations. If those officers get hit with small claims suits frequently enough they'll lose any desire to confiscate where there isn't a criminal case to be made.

4 days ago
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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

Whorhay Re:Please let it be single-player (266 comments)

Well Shadowrun has actually been fully released for a long while now, and Planetary Anihilation was just released I believe. I can't speak for PA as I haven't played it yet but Shadowrun's initial campaign was fun, and I have heard good things about the new campaign.

about a week ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Whorhay Re:Accusations (1134 comments)

I had an unprofessional relationship with my spouse for more than 2 years before we ever had sex. And I can definitely tell you I gave her preferential treatment more than a couple months before we ever had intercourse. In my experience sex wouldn't be the first sign of a relationship.

about two weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Whorhay Re:Accusations (1134 comments)

He didn't write an article specifically written as a review of her game. What he did was write an article about how there were thousands or more new indie games. Then in that article he said that her game, was the big standout and the only graphic in the article was for her game. That isn't exactly a review but it sure is a ringing endoresment. And while that can sound like nothing of consequence a mention like that on some of these gaming related news sites can make or break a game in a huge way. Just look at how Minecraft went from something no one had heard of to an incredible success in the course of a single weekend, arguably because of a silly web comic.

about two weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Whorhay Re:Accusations (1134 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J...

I see the words "objectivity", "mpartiality", and "fairness" all included as part of the second paragraph as common parts of established journalistic codes. I'm pretty sure when you have had a sexual relationship those are going to be very difficult things to maintain when speaking about that person or their work. I wouldn't actually expect anyone to say in their article "We shagged and they were awful in the sack, but the video game was pretty great." I would instead expect the journalist to either state that they had a more than professional relationship with that person, or most likely just abstain from writing about them or their game. He should have told his Editor that he had a non-professional relationship with her and had someone else write any articles regarding her or her work, or including plugs for her work.

about two weeks ago
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Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge With Liquid Nitrogen

Whorhay Re:Is it really the Leidenfrost effect? (182 comments)

It helps that the coals for firewalking are typically ashed over nicely. The ash actually serves as a pretty decent short term insulator. If you just blew the ash off the coals I imagine it would be a very different experience.

about two weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Whorhay Accusations (1134 comments)

So TFS says that the accusations regarding Zoe Quinn were false. I hadn't heard this bit yet, is the article linked to actually confirmation of that? Sorry, I'd read the articles for myself but work filters are a PITA. The last I had heard was that the guy who writes for RPS and Kotaku had confirmed their sexual relationship.

I honestly don't care about her sex life or lack there of. The only thing of interest to me is a "journalist" possibly sleeping with a person with whom he should have a more professional relation ship with, and not disclosing that fact when making mention of her work, whether positive or negative.

about two weeks ago
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Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

Whorhay Re:This does not bother me (237 comments)

Again bullshit.

Again, their is no need for a "right to privacy", we inherently posses all and any rights not explicitly forbidden in the law or granted to the various Governments to which we are subject. The Constitution is an explicit listing of powers or rights that the Federal Government and it's agents may posses. They are not granted any more authority than is explicitly listed in the Constitution and whatever other laws we've passed. You could argue that some of this might be covered under the questionable patriot law clause, but that is more and more tenous by the day.

Intent and method matters when you are talking about communications, otherwise there would be nothing illegal about wiretapping any phone conversation. You are essentially arguing that just because you had a conversation using a STU in a fortified bunker in an old mineshaft that there is nothing wrong as a private citizen tapping that line, cracking the encryption, and doing whatever they want with it. Or say a voyeur installing their own airport type scanner in a public walkway of some sort disguised as something else, I mean nobody is bothering to even encrypt the radiation they are emitting or reflecting. Just because they wouldn't expect anyone to be able to see or detect that, or even know it's possible, their can't possibly be anything wrong.

And speaking of radiation. I would wager that these towers are also in violation of any number of FCC Regulations on the use of radio frequencies. The frequencies that are used by cell phones are very lucrative and are leased on an exclusive basis. These towers are very likely using bandwidth that is already leased to some other entity. Remember they aren't just listening they have to be broadcasting or the cellphones would never actually establish a connection with them.

So far as the DMCA goes, it is a law, as far as I know it applies to everyone unless they are explicitly exempted. According to the DMCA it doesn't matter how weak the encryption you are using is. Deliberately dycrypting something which you have not been explicitly authorized for is a violaiton and hacking of some sort or another.

The mailbox is exactly like radio transmissions it is just visible from a longer range and using a naturally visible frequency. When I put something in the mailbox it is continuously available to anyone who has the gumption to open the box and open the envelope. When you put a letter in an envelope and seal it, it is then obvious to anyone that it is private and not intended for anyone to read but the receipient listed on the envelope, doubly so if it's one of those 'security' envelopes. But the actual physical protection on that letter is still actually incredibly weak, my two year old frequently opens my mail for me. The same should be logically true for encrypted radio transmissions. Just because it is trivial to break does not justify deliberately doing so. And by virtue of those transmissions being in specifically leased frequency ranges they have an expected receipient, which is whoever the wireless provider is that leased the band and signed the contract with the end user. If the mailman accidentally, or even deliberately delivers my mail to your mailbox you are not legally allowed to just open it and read my correspondence.

As a private citizen I do not need an explicit recitation of rights, the only things I need explicitly stated are things that I may not do. The Government and its many agencies and agents does require an explicit grant of rights in the law to perform their duties. That is pretty much the entire point of our Constitution.

about two weeks ago
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Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

Whorhay Re:This does not bother me (237 comments)

It's bullshit and illegal simply under the 4th and probably under the DMCA. The article specifically mentions that they are using technical means to break the basic encryption of cell calls. When someone uses a cell phone to send a communication and it is encrypted they clearly intend it as a private communication. Deliberately intercepting that communication, breaking the encryption, and then doing who knows what with it is clearly a violation of the 4th. And by breaching the seal of that communication by breaking the encryption they have likely violated the DMCA. The fact that the communication happens via radio signal is of no consequence, when I mail a private letter I put it in my mail box for the carrier to pick up, with the red flag in the raised position. Anyone within a hundred yards can see that I have posting a communication, if they remove that letter, open it, read it, reseal the envelope and put it back they have broken the law.

On top of all of that, we don't need a "right of privacy" as the constitution is a set of laws explicitly listing what the government may do. It is not an explicit listing of citizens rights. Where in the constitution does it spell out that the government, or any entity may establish an automated system to intercept, record, and possibly alter private communications of thousands, possibly millions, of citizens without warrant or notification?

about two weeks ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

Whorhay Re:No, it wasn't. (463 comments)

Ummm bullshit. Typically Police are actually not exempt from laws like speed limits. However since a police officer is unlikely to ticket himself or another cop it just doesn't come up. I've never actually seen a law that exempted law officers from being at fault in accidents caused by their breaking traffic laws, in fact I have seen exactly the opposite when I studied to be an officer myself. Even if the laws for electronics usage explicitly permits police officers to use them it does not exempt them from the laws about maintaining proper control of their vehicle and killing people out of negligence. I wouldn't give a damn whether or not the Deputy is ticketed for using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. I do however care that the Deputy negligently operated a motor vehicle in such a way that he committed vehicular manslaughter, that is a criminal charge that absolutely fits.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Whorhay Re:customer-centric (419 comments)

... And nobody gave a flying monkeys uncle. If a corporation decides to conduct business and expend capital buying assets, or bringing assets into any country that crap is then subject to the laws of that country. It isn't up to individual countries to make sure that their laws all coincide nicely for the pleasure of some corporation. I don't have any pity for companies that start here in the USA and then go to other countires and expect special treatment from either country.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: VPN reviews and the new ISP six strikes Agreement

Whorhay Whorhay writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Whorhay (1319089) writes "In view of the news that many of the major ISPs in the USA are enacting a six strike agreement this week, I have developed a keen interest in using a VPN for my home internet connection. My google foo skills though are apparently lacking as I was not able to find much in the way of reviews for VPN services that didn't appear to be marketing chaff. So I'm turning to Slashdot to ask: What VPN services do you recommend and why?"
Link to Original Source
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DoJ asks Supreme Court to take up GPS tracking

Whorhay Whorhay writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Whorhay (1319089) writes "The DOJ has been directed by the Obama Administration to push the Supreme Court to take up the legality of Warrantless GPS Tracking. This on the heels of the a federal appeals court in Washington overturning the conviction of a man citing warrantless GPS tracking as violating his fourth ammendmant rights."
Link to Original Source

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