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EU Paves the Way For Three-Strikes Cut-Off Policy

esper Re:Oh great! (272 comments)

Let's see what else. Oh yeah he now has the power to declare a "national emergency" and shutdown the internet.

I'm always amazed at just how much people like to harp on the whole "OMG! Internet can be shut down in a national emergency!" thing. Yes, the President could abuse his power by arbitrarily declaring a national emergency and using that to derive the authority to shut down the internet.

But there's the slight side detail that the President has already had the power to declare a state of emergency and, say, revoke the right of habeas corpus (call me crazy, but I think holding people without charges or judicial oversight is a bit more serious than shutting down the internet) ever since Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution was accepted. The President has had far more injurious emergency powers available to him since long before you or I were born.

The power to shut down the internet in a national emergency does provide a possibility for abuse, there's no question about that, but, if you consider all the other things the President can order in a national emergency, shutting down the internet is just pissing in the ocean.

more than 4 years ago
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In-Game Advertising Makes Games Better?

esper Re:GTA did it best... (352 comments)

Hmm... When you put it that way... How about a game loaded with real-world advertising where the objective is to make the (game) world a better place by destroying the ads?

more than 4 years ago
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In-Game Advertising Makes Games Better?

esper Re:GTA did it best... (352 comments)

You underestimate the number of people who want bladder gauges... While I've never particularly understood the desire myself, the Oblivion modding community has produced a large number of (generally highly-rated) realism mods which require you to stop and eat/drink/rest every n game-hours. (They generally also tweak the ratio of game-time vs. real-time so that you don't have to eat every 30 seconds.) Some of them even require you to set up camp, build a fire, and cook your food before eating it or to remove your armor before sleeping.

I don't recall offhand whether I've seen any that require you to urinate/defecate "realistically" (i.e., not as a juvenile scatological joke), but I would be somewhat surprised if it hasn't been done.

more than 4 years ago
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Sloppy Linux Admins Enable Slow Brute-Force Attacks

esper Re:overly paranoid (391 comments)

All quite secure, unless the server is using crypt (or some other method which ignores everything after the 8th character) to hash its passwords. I'm sure you know enough to use MD5/SHA-n hashes on your system's passwords, but I don't trust the admins of some random server out on the net to be that responsible, so I tend to stick with random 8-alphanum passwords, courtesy of pwgen. (Osh9ahy6 kie9su9M fub2Ga5p Oegh6mie...)

more than 4 years ago
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Bridging the Gap Between User-Generated Content and Interesting Content

esper Re:MUDs (73 comments)

You too, eh?

I'd read a lot about OOP and made a few attempts at it, but had misunderstood the concept thoroughly enough that I was creating a separate class for every object, even if it the code was identical and the only difference was a couple of property values.

Then I started hanging out on LambdaMOO, requested a programmer bit, and started playing around with their tutorials. I "got it" and understood OOP (and how I'd been doing it wrong) almost instantly.

Good times...

more than 3 years ago
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Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads

esper Re:Exactly (404 comments)

I think you missed the part in TFA (and TFS) where it says "Sixty-six percent of those surveyed don't want tailored, or targeted, online ads, according to the study" even before tracking was (explicitly) introduced. Although TFA doesn't give the exact questions, the results as presented seem to indicate that 66% don't want targeted ads at all and an additional 20% aren't opposed to them in general, but are opposed to having their behaviour tracked across multiple sites as part of the ad targeting process.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Wave Backstage

esper Re:Cautiously Optimistic (132 comments)

Although this doesn't apply to Google Docs, it's been pretty heavily publicized from day 1 that Wave is an open protocol, running on open software, so companies will be able to build and host their own private Wave servers.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Wave Backstage

esper Re:Cautiously Optimistic (132 comments)

Based on what I have read of Wave thus far, I am highly confident that it will support the sort of non-text collaboration you've described (there are already drop-in chessboards and the like for "collaboration" in the form of games). I would actually be mildly surprised if third-party devs haven't already started prototypes of Wave-based painting, spreadsheet, and musical composition apps.

more than 4 years ago
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Sony Ericsson Develops Contact Headphones

esper Re:Van Gogh. . . (173 comments)

Personally? I mostly listen to podcasts - short fiction, talking heads of the tech world, that kind of thing. Not music. When you're dealing with a single person talking (as in, say, most short fiction or audiobooks - or a phone call, for that matter), they either won't use stereo or both channels will carry identical audio. Panel discussions may use stereo, but they often don't. Even when they do, you don't really lose anything by mixing it down to mono, since it's just being done to virtually position the panel members, not to create any effects that enhance the experience (or at least it doesn't enhance my experience).

Just because stereo matters for music doesn't mean that it matters for audio recordings in general.

more than 4 years ago
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The Case For Mandatory Touch-Typing In High School

esper Re:Schools dont change (705 comments)

I didn't start using keyboards seriously until I was 8 (I had played with my mom's typewriter before that, but doubt I picked up any real speed there) and my experiences are much the same as yours. I spent a few years doing temp work after college and consistently tested in the upper-60s wpm on their tests, occasionally getting astonished comments from the temp agency's workers that I'd completed the test so quickly and with so few errors.

Also like you, I spend many hours a day on a keyboard and have never shown any signs of RSI or similar issues. I'm not sure I would entirely attribute that to the non-"standard" typing technique, though - I expect that my tendency to do everything by keyboard and rarely reaching for the mouse contributes as well.

"Proper" typing technique is highly, highly overrated.

more than 4 years ago
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Personalized In-Game Advertising In Upcoming Titles

esper Re:Hacking (244 comments)

I trust they won't send any of my "personal" information (name, telephone number, personal e-mails)...

You've just hit on exactly what I don't get about this blurb's claims of these games "collecting personal information":

When was the last time you entered your (real) name, a phone number, an email address, or any other piece of personal information into a game during play? In my case, that would be approximately... never, IIRC.

Any information I've ever entered has been during registration, not gameplay, and that's already getting sent to the publisher whether they use in-game ads or not. Unless they're including local exploits to collect information from other applications without the user's knowledge/consent, then I don't see any evidence of an actual privacy threat tied to the ads.

more than 4 years ago
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What Modern Games Are DRM-Free?

esper Re:Sins of a Solar Empire (630 comments)

Gal Civ 1, I presume? Because I've installed my copy of Gal Civ 2 multiple times (on a total of three separate machines, IIRC) and, although it has always asked for my CD key during installation, it has also made it clear that this was only required for online play or to download updates. Since my only interest was in playing solo, I declined to enter the key. The game worked just fine without it and never asked for the key again until/unless I attempted to update to the latest version.

I do not recall ever encountering a key generator, whether named "Impulse" or anything else, although this may simply be because I chose not to bother with registering my copy.

more than 5 years ago

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