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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

fafalone Re:simcity 4 is best simcity (101 comments)

God, SC4 was so much fun. I wonder if I can get it working on my 64-bit Win7 box. Last I checked, it had some problems with that.

There's no problems at all running it on Win7 x64. And you should see the amazing custom content that's still being developed. Not just the thousands upon thousands of buildings; but an entirely new highway system with 2-10 lanes and completely custom ramps, tile-by-tile canal systems, or the incredibly detailed modular airports- can cover an entire large city tile with just an expansive airport; I released an entire plugin that's just tiles to make lines on the taxiways. Other modular sets let you construct expansive seaports, military bases, and any kind of landscape you can imagine.

2 days ago
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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

fafalone Re:simcity 4 is best simcity (101 comments)

It's not just a computer hardware limitation; the simulator gets very inefficient at certain things. I running a reasonably modern system with 12GB RAM, and a large amount of custom content (20-40,000 files totalling 8-12GB, common among everyone still playing) on a large city still brings my system to its knees. Switching to underground view for subways, for instance, takes at least 20 seconds.

2 days ago
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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

fafalone Re:Article Thumbs Down (101 comments)

SC4 allows region play; that's the population of a region composed of large city tiles that top out at 1.6m each.

2 days ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

fafalone Re:Will the cameras work? (602 comments)

Just like they get punished when their dashcams malfunction, right?

4 days ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

fafalone Re:Pre-emptive stance prior to 4K TV services (334 comments)

Even 1080p could push people over the limit. Getting everything I can in HD, 1080p if available, (e.g. all movies and maybe 2/3rds of TV) I've averaged just over 300GB/month for the last 24 months, even hitting 720GB one month. And I'm the only person on this connection. You get a whole family on the line (or god forbid 3 college kids sharing an apartment), and exceeding it is probably already common.
This is squarely targeted at those not getting their TV from Comcast NOW. No need to wait for 4K. I suspect they won't do this is areas where they have competition. I've had Optimum and now FiOS in my current home, and neither have these caps. Meanwhile my old house, where it was Comcast or 2Mbps DSL, was one of the very first places they rolled out caps to, and it was 200GB.

5 days ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

fafalone Re:Sigh (334 comments)

You're either hopelessly naive or thinking of running for office one day yourself. Do you honestly think stuffing a senators pockets with "I'm donating $x to your PAC" is any different than stuffing it with actual currency? Or any of the other dozens of ways you can legally bribe congress, from 'I'll bring tons of jobs to your district' to 'Now might be a good time to invest in a company we're going to announce a buyout on next week' (look at how quickly and quietly they gutted the STOCK Act). All of these are the same thing as outright bribes and to pretend otherwise is nonsense.
And while on the local level, and maybe the state level, sure you have lots of people that sincerely want to effect change, but those aren't the people advancing to the national level.

5 days ago
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For Fast Internet in the US, Virginia Tops the Charts

fafalone Re:Fiber to the Home (98 comments)

I thought municipal fiber was supposed to be cheaper? I have a similar number of channels and 50m with FiOS (I routinely get 58-60mbps, and 40mbps up, and not just on speed tests) for $80 a month. Don't use Netflix tho.

about three weeks ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

fafalone Re:Safe injection sites (474 comments)

...increase in the number of addicts

And why exactly do you think there would be an increase in the number of addicts? How many people do you know that just waiting to get out and pick up a heroin habit, if only it was legal?

Turns out there's just no evidence addiction rates will increase. There's some evidence more people might try a drug, but for the most part people predisposed to drug addiction are not being stopped by prohibition.
You may not be aware, since US media isn't very interested in going against the government, but Portugal has already decriminalized the possession of personal use quantities of drugs. All drugs. Cocaine and heroin too. They have NOT seen the number of addicts increase. In fact, the number of addicts GREATLY decreased, which is exactly what you expect to happen when addicts are treated like people who may need help and not as criminals who deserve a life-ruining felony conviction. (if you google for more information, be careful to note the distinction between addicts and people who have tried it, a lot of media outlets only report that 'tried it ever' has increased, and not that 'addicted to it' has gone down)

about a month and a half ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

fafalone Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (435 comments)

Those statistics fail to account for the biggest problem. Senior citizens themselves are perfectly safe doddling along at 20mph under the speed limit, taking a full minute to change lanes, coming to a complete stop where they shouldn't*, never signalling (or never turning the signal off) and all that other stuff. Everyone else on the road swerving around to avoid them or pass them (even when it's very unsafe to do so, because goddammit it's 55 not 35) are the ones being killed off. The seniors just continue on towards the bingo hall oblivious to the 10-car pileup they just caused.

* - One of the closest calls I ever had, some 80-90 year old came to a dead stop in the left travel lane of a 5-lane 45mph road and then slowly pulled into the center turning lane. This stands out as the single most egregious example of 'senior driving' I've ever encountered, and I lived in FL for 10 years.

about a month and a half ago
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Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

fafalone Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (162 comments)

I also think they are highly skeptical of someone asking for a specific opiate formulation, even when they initiate the prescription (ie, you have an obvious injury and they prescribe an opiate). It's highly ironic that they're so worried about addiction they're willing to risk serious liver toxicity.

This is exactly it. For every other condition, patients are encouraged to research their condition and its treatments on their own, and to have an informed discussion with their doctor about treatment options. But not for pain. Anyone with an even modest knowledge of painkillers is instantly labelled a drug-seeker. Ask for a painkiller by name, and the doctor looks at you like you're sitting there with a needle and spoon yelling 'GIMME GIMME DOPE'. And the more you justify why you want something, the worse it is. Doesn't matter how valid your research is, only junkies know that much. And the fact that you might have a clear need doesn't matter. Because if you WANT opiates, you're a drug-seeker, and drug-seekers should be left in pain rather than give them what they want.
That message has been drilled into doctors heads with the DEA leading the push. It's the DEA and drug warrior bureaucrats that define how pain is treated, not doctors. They know that no matter how thorough and professional their care is, they're one junkie OD away from an investigation and jail. Pain management specialists that actually prescribe should be hailed as heroes. Mine used to have the DEA come in, shut down the clinic, and start seizing files at least once every 6 months. And this is a caring professional who is not even close to a pill mill.

about 1 month ago
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Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

fafalone Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (162 comments)

Of course there's a compelling reason. It's to punish people who would take more than recommended by giving them liver damage. That's what the whole war on drugs is, punishing recreational drug users by increasing the harm that comes to them. Even if the doctor doesn't share that philosophy, the government forces it on them by making their life a living hell (everything from DEA records seizures and questioning, right up through loss of license and decades in jail) if they prescribe too many pure oxycodone products.

about 1 month ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

fafalone Re:Good? (273 comments)

1) Ubers can avoid poor neighborhoods at will, and there's really nothing the city can do about it. I live in LA, and if you live in, say, Watts, you must call a cab if you want a car, no Uber will find you there, because it's "the ghetto" and there's never an Uber within 20 minutes. Taxis can be and are required to pick up from all parts of the city, and their statistics are closely monitored by regulators to make sure they do.

Yellow cabs in NYC absolutely do this. Yes, they have to take you to your destination, but that's it. There's nothing requiring them to drive around looking for passengers- hence why the green outer borough cabs came to be. Even in parts of Manhattan, you'd have to wait 10-15 minutes, or more during off-peak, before seeing an available taxi. If you walk a few blocks, they're all over the place again. I used to frequently visit a friend in the Lower East Side public housing; for her cabs were so rare she would always call black car services, which cater to the area with cheaper prices than a regular taxi.

about 2 months ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

fafalone Re:One switch to rule them all? (681 comments)

So ribbons are better for people with no prior experience, and all the other things that correlate with being an inmate.
So professional users are once again sacrificed to the almighty goal of dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

fafalone Re:28th Amendment (1330 comments)

And then we can promptly reinterpret it to actually include corporations, and/or simply ignore it like we do with most other amendments.

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

fafalone Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

It is unconscionable for them to be forced to provide benefits that are in opposition to their morals.

Great, now Jehovah's Witness led companies don't have to provide coverage for any procedure that requires a blood transfusion. And what about even smaller minority views? You get to choose between all manner of ridiculous coverage gaps and telling people that since it's not a major religion it's not entitled to equal protection. And what about my tax money going towards things I have deep moral convictions against? Or since I'm not important, how's about a corporations taxes?

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

fafalone Re:A win for freedom (1330 comments)

Religious beliefs shouldn't be allowed as an excuse to not pay for individual aspects of health care. What about religions that have sincere objections to receiving blood transfusions? Should they be allowed to not pay for coverage of any procedure that involves one? No doubt tax money goes to pay for religiously objectionable things; maybe we should allow companies to stipulate their taxes can't go towards Medicaid's contraceptive coverage? This is a very slippery slope, and this case would have been laughed out of court if it weren't a major religion and abortion, as opposed to a minority religion with a minority view.

about 2 months ago
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Fox Moves To Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish Streaming Service

fafalone Re:Jurisdiction (210 comments)

The problem is you're hung up on the idea of what's legal and/or right. Think of it more along the lines of the mafia. The family running the corner bodega has nothing to do with the mafia, but they're forced to pay for the mafia's "protection services" not because of the mafia's legal right to enforce their policies, but because they have people willing to use coercion to enforce it. The only option is to get someone with more power/force behind them who is willing to stand up; for the bodega owner, that's the police. But there's no one with the power to stand up and force the United States to back down. So the US enforces global jurisdiction because IT CAN. It even prosecutes its own citizens who break US laws in countries where the activity that occurred is legal.
Now I know your first thought might be, well we're not going to use our military against Canada/France, but we have many other forms of coercion. We can and will forbid a particular financial institution to do business with US-based businesses and individuals, so that is the force that keeps them in line.

about 2 months ago
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In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

fafalone Re:secure by default (248 comments)

Who's "we'?

Snowden's revelations just gave me a chance to go around saying, "See I told you so! Who's the conspiracy nutjob now!"

about 3 months ago
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Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha

fafalone Re:You don't have Cox, do you? (129 comments)

400GB a month is already unreasonable for some, and it's rapidly becoming unreasonable for higher percentages. Not only is online video here, but people want it in HD. 400GB is only 10-20 full Blurays. It's only 10 TV seasons at 1080p for 1hr shows with full length seasons. At least 1 of every 3 months I'll exceed 400, sometimes hitting 600GB+. And I'm just one person... imagine a family with a few teenage kids, or college students living together?

People who exclusively stream don't get full bitrate, but they will soon. In the meantime, people who like to download full quality video, because 4-6Mbps is simply not good enough (or because connection quality can't handle it smoothly despite available throughput), are already over the line of just about every capped provider. I'm not downloading things I never watch just to collect them either.
Even streaming alone... 5Mbps is 2.3GB/hr, or 400GB in 174hours: 3 people streaming Netflix HD for 2 hours a day average, and bam. That's not even considering all other internet activity. Hardly unreasonable, and becoming far more common as more and more people forego cable tv.

And even beyond that, capping total bandwidth has no justification other than to eventually move to metered usage (don't be fooled into thinking that means light users paying less-- the bottom 10% will pay what they're paying now, everyone else will pay more). Throttling connections temporarily if the network is congested is reasonable; but capping overall usage is not, since ISP-level connections are priced by link speed- it doesn't cost the ISP anything else extra. Fortunately my two ISP options are Cablevision (Optimum), and FiOS, and neither of them have usage caps.

about 3 months ago
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Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

fafalone Re:Give up your fantasy where DRM isn't required (403 comments)

Maybe they need to stop putting marketshare above all else? It's bad enough how every version is progressively dumbing down the UI in an attempt to attract mainstream users. They did just fine long before they had the marketshare they do today. And they sure as hell didn't get off the ground by marketing to the non-technophile masses.
Are there benefits to increased marketshare? Absolutely. But when did that become the most important factor in designing a web browser?

about 3 months ago

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