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Your State University Doesn't Want You

ZachPruckowski Re:Is this a trick question? (551 comments)

Yes, it is a trick question. There's no inherent relationship between the merit of giving employee benefits and the in-state/out-of-state ratio nor is there a relationship between the merit of giving employees benefits and what their CEO (President) gets paid. The employees didn't determine the in-state/out-of-state ratio nor did they pick their President's salary.

more than 2 years ago
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Portal On the Booklist At Wabash College

ZachPruckowski Re:Coordination? (203 comments)

For an 18 year old with good hand eye coordination (some portal-jumps are challenging, even in earlier levels) and strong problem-solving ability, sure. But it's still nowhere near as simple as turning a page, and the skillset is less related to what you'll need in other classes than the vocabulary and reading comprehension required by textbooks or readings from prose.

about 4 years ago
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EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game

ZachPruckowski Re:gift card laws? (620 comments)

Assuming he bought those PLEX via timecodes (instead of on the market), he redeemed the "gift card" for the PLEX, which is a valuable in-game item. He then proceeded to do something stupid and lose them. The analogous situation would be if I left my giftcard on the bus. Kohl's isn't going to give me $25 credit for a gift card that I lost through my own stupidity. If you undocked in a frigate with valuable cargo knowing there are war-targets in system, you are accepting like a 75% risk of getting blown up and losing your cargo. It'd be one thing if someone exploited a bug to take his gift cards, but that's not the case here. Shooting war-targets is an acceptable game mechanic, and for that matter outright piracy is an accepted game mechanic (and a pirate gang to hunt him would assemble in a hurry with a shot at 74 PLEX on the line).

Further, it's a safe bet he got these PLEX on the market instead of through timecodes. If he had timecodes, he'd just redeem the PLEX in the remote stations (to avoid precisely this sort of risk). What probably happened here was that he solicited investment and bought the timecodes on the Jita 4-4 market for resale in distant markets (where PLEX prices are higher). His profit would be the ~10% price spread between Jita prices and 0.0 prices.

about 4 years ago
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EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game

ZachPruckowski Re:Ouch. (620 comments)

Because you can trade time-codes for ISK, people occasionally refer to in-game items in terms of dollar-worth. For instance, a Carrier might be worth a couple billion ISK when well-fitted, which works out to $100-150 ($70 per billion ISK when I played in the Spring), so if you're dumb enough to get your Carrier blown up, even with insurance, you'd be out $50+ if you had sold timecodes (PLEX) for that ISK.

about 4 years ago
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The 'Net Generation' Isn't

ZachPruckowski Re:evidence? (435 comments)

I'm the exact same way as the GP. I don't know a whole lot about my car at all. I mean, I have the basic understanding from science class of how a combustion engine works and how gears work, but I see my car as "put gas in, steer and shift, and arrive at my destination". I think a lot of this is because my needs are so low. I don't drive faster than 65 mph, I don't need to make especially tight turns, and I don't need to off-road. Basically my car has to get me to the store or maybe 90 minutes to my parents' house, and I can do that in a 10-year-old Subaru as easily as in a new car. Sort of like the people who use their computers to check their email and maybe once-in-a-blue-moon "do a Google". They don't care about the difference between RAM and HDD because they're not trying to squeeze extra performance out of their computer.

about 4 years ago
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Some LA Coffee Shops Are Taking Wi-Fi Off the Menu

ZachPruckowski Re:Fee Wi-Fi are a drain on the bottom line? (312 comments)

Look - security is a pyramid. At the peak of the pyramid are like national spying organizations, and at the bottom are literally animals. You usually only need to stop part of the problem to be effective. A doorknob stops feral cats or raccoons from getting in, but not criminals. A padlock stops hooligans, but actual criminals can break it. A deadbolt is better, but can still be picked by higher-end criminals. Vault doors and lasers stop all but the most professional of criminals or spies in their tracks.

But I don't need to worry about "what if Michael Westen or James Bond wants to raid my cash register?" because the odds of that are so low, I'm just not a target as a coffee shop. So if all I've got is some expresso machines and a few bucks in the register, I get a normal lock and some insurance, not armed guards.

This is the technology equivalent. I'm not worried about "what if he spoofs his MAC" or "what if he's war-driving from a remote controlled helicopter". I can solve 95% of my problem (people mooching off me) for 10% of the cost/effort, so I'll probably stop there.

about 4 years ago
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US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

ZachPruckowski Re:Military Policies in General (390 comments)

However, in the military, breaching your contract can end up in confinement. Does that not seem immoral? Why does wishing to fight WITH the military mean signing your life away? Isn't it the officer's job to ensure that he can rely on his troops, and if he feels he can't - then he should send them away?

Yeah, you screw over a landlord or employer that way, you face fines. You screw over our fighting forces that way, you face jail time. Just like how the punishment for busting into a nuclear silo is more severe than the punishment for breaking into someone's home.

You don't get to be a fair-weather solider. If you sign up for the Army, you sign up to war and peace, victory and defeat. Given that we have a volunteer Army, and the punishment for desertion is confinement instead of death, we've come a long way historically. If the life isn't for you, don't do it. It's certainly not something I could do, and I have a lot of respect for the people who can do it and who do do it.

about 4 years ago
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US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

ZachPruckowski Re:Wouldn't it be against the rules anyways? (390 comments)

Bingo. Just because information has been made public doesn't mean it's been de-classified. Anyone with a security clearance and anyone with a job anywhere near the DoD signed about a billion forms and went through a dozen trainings regarding how to respond to improperly handled classified forms. Step 1 is "delete/destroy any copies within reach", and Step 2 is "call the security folks". Anyone in the defense world in possession of classified documents they shouldn't have is in violation of employment agreements and potentially laws.

about 4 years ago
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US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

ZachPruckowski Re:Military Policies in General (390 comments)

When you sign up for the military, you sign up for a term of service. You can't just take the training and then quit if you don't like your assignment. Commitment like this isn't unique to the military or even employment. Pro athletes and actors/singers sign contracts promising to perform for X years, and they can't quit at year X-2 because they feel like it. I am committed to living in my apartment for another 3 months, and I have a (very specific and time-limited) non-compete clause in my employment contract. My landlord needs assurances that he won't be unexpectedly stuck with an empty room, and my bosses need assurances I won't leave them for a client.

about 4 years ago
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Does Net Neutrality Violate the Fifth Amendment?

ZachPruckowski Re:Not all private (341 comments)

The government still had to pay for that land though. They could take the homes, but they needed to compensate people for them. There's obviously some latitude for the government to screw you in terms of what qualifies as "just compensation", but it's not like they can just not pay or even just toss you a five dollar bill for your McMansion.

more than 3 years ago
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Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report

ZachPruckowski Re:Small errors? (447 comments)

55% to 26% is a small error?

The fact that I'm only going to cut off one of your legs instead of both should not ease your dread at my producing a bonesaw[1]. I mean, flooding even 10% of a country like that is a humanitarian crisis in line with the 2004 tsunami or the Haiti Earthquake. Going from a "biblical disaster" to an "epic disaster" is a small change in terms of impact. They're both catastrophic.

[1] - For the analogy-impaired, that is in no way, shape, or form a threat.

more than 4 years ago
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Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers

ZachPruckowski Re:To be fair... (546 comments)

That they caught R2K at this, and were willing to expose it

Except - they neither caught R2K nor exposed them, FiveThirtyEight.com did. Going public was an act of damage control, not and act of contrition.

If you read what either Kos or Nate Silver have said, it was independent researchers working with Kos (who gave them the needed data) who exposed it, and Kos who first published it. What 538 did a few weeks ago was rank R2K low on their pollster rankings. Combined with shoddy polling in a few straight elections, this caused Kos to sack R2K before any accusations of impropriety were made.

more than 4 years ago
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Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial

ZachPruckowski Re:Groklaw link (168 comments)

I think a lot of it is that the US legal system is designed to handle legitimate cases. There's just not much precedent for someone destroying their company to pursue legal action that served solely (IMO) as means to facilitate an extortion ring ($699 license fees on copyrights SCO doesn't own) and a stock scam (go Team FUD!). Throw in the technical complexities, and it's definitely an outlier that I'm not sure is good proof of anything.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

ZachPruckowski Re:I do not have a problem with this ... (395 comments)

California law is a bit unusual in that it calls all kinds of things "theft" that have different names elsewhere. For example, if you rent a car, and don't return it, and the rental car company asks you to return it, and you keep it for another eleven days, then by California law it will be assumed that this was theft.

I'm sorry for the tangent, but what is this "usually" called? Because I'm pretty sure keeping a rental for like 2 weeks is going to get you into trouble anywhere.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

ZachPruckowski Re:Ya know, nobody seems to get it. (395 comments)

Nevertheless they reported the truth and that is what Apple is punishing them for. If Gizmodo had just made up the entire story they would be at WWDC just like all the other tech rags out there.

Correct. If they had just made up the story, they would not have purchased stolen Apple property, and thus Apple probably wouldn't have made them pay for their tickets.

Common sense tells you that if journalists only publish stories that please the companies they are writing about, many important stories will remain hidden in the dark.

Most of the press outlets attending WWDC have published stories that displeased Apple in one way or another, and they still get free tickets. If there's really an important story out there, any one of those press outlets would cover it, and would come out far ahead even if Apple made them buy their own WWDC tickets.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Not Welcome at 2010 WWDC

ZachPruckowski Re:The coverup is always worse than the crime. (395 comments)

One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.

California law is pretty straightforward about the fact that they don't play by "finders keepers, losers weepers" on the West Coast. Specifically, if you find someone's property, you're supposed to return it to them or turn it over to the police[1], you can't just do whatever you want with it. At the point at which the finder decided to sell it to the highest bidder, it becomes theft.

[1] - While not technically legit, nobody's gonna bust your chops if you just hand it over to the bartender or hostess and have the business hang onto it instead.

more than 4 years ago
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The Hurt Locker Producers Sue First 5,000 File-Sharers

ZachPruckowski Re:Not this again... (861 comments)

For a lot of uncracked DRM, it's often not cracked because there's no need to crack it. Most of the stuff covered by things like FairPlay or RTMP go uncracked because there are more convenient ways for uploaders to pirate the material (buy the DVD or CD, TiVo the show off OTA/cable broadcast). I'd imagine similar logic with video game console games - it's a huge PITA to distribute, because unlike movies, you can't re-encode it easily, and you often have to mod the end user console to play it.

more than 4 years ago
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FSF Asks Apple To Comply With the GPL For Clone of GNU Go

ZachPruckowski Re:No, seriously. The wrong people (482 comments)

Bingo. If there's an incompatibility between Apple's license and the GPL, then the fault is that of the developer who made the port - he's the one who gave license to Apple to sell the game on his behalf under Apple's terms. If he didn't have the right to make that deal with Apple, he's the one who's at fault here.

more than 4 years ago
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Nero Files Antitrust Complaint Against MPEG-LA

ZachPruckowski Re:MPEG/LA == SCO's $699 Linux license (247 comments)

In this case, there's actually a legitimate chance that they own relevant patents that'll survive a challenge.

more than 4 years ago
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Nero Files Antitrust Complaint Against MPEG-LA

ZachPruckowski Re:Citation, please? (247 comments)

Theora isn't participating. What's supposedly happening is that MPEG LA is saying "we owned Patents X, Y, and Z that we claim cover Theora, you can pay us $$ to license them" The Theora project is not involved in this patent pool, and the patents are mostly patents that companies own that were originally gotten for MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 stuff that they claim also apply to Theora.

more than 4 years ago

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