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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

sheetsda Re:Cheaper (349 comments)

Instead, the entire industry would rather piss around with games and "loyalty" programs and such.

For those that might not be aware, the purpose of those loyalty programs is so that business travelers have their corporate travel agency to get them flights on particular airlines every time they fly. The points belong to the individual, not the company. The employee collects the points which can be turned into free vacations and the airline charges the corporate account the difference.

Ironically though when you travel frequently for work the last thing you want to do is spend more time away from home.

-A former business traveller

about a month ago

FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

sheetsda Re:Fewer candidates to draw from... (580 comments)

The government is working at this from the other angle. More the rights they eliminate the closer we come to having them 100% protected!

about 4 months ago

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

sheetsda Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (251 comments)

"...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

I use this to my advantage.

1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

about 5 months ago

Is Ruby Dying?

sheetsda Re:He's not "conceited". He's absolutely correct! (400 comments)

Its development tools are a decade or more behind those of Java and C++.

It's worse than just being behind. Behind is a solvable problem. Basic IDE features like auto-completion/typo checking are impossible for the IDE when the content of an object can't be known until run-time. Consider a simple example that uses a random number to either define a given property on an object or not - the IDE fundamentally cannot know whether than property should show up in its autocomplete list. So I think the poor quality of the tools can also be blamed on poor JS design. JSDoc provides reasonable solution to this problem at the cost of writing a bunch of documentation that would be pedantic in other languages and negates weak types (not enforced unfortunately). I compare this to documenting every "int foo = 0;" in C++ with a comment saying "//this is an integer".

Ultimately, I feel the lesson comes down to this: Weakly-typed languages are for smaller projects than strongly-typed languages.

Unfortunately, if you need to do something in a browser you don't really have a strongly typed option right now. That is also a solvable problem, and as the browser becomes more and more important as a platform someone will solve it. Though, if you'd have asked me 10 years ago I'd have at least expected to be able to see the solution on the horizon by this point. :-(

about a year ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

sheetsda Without a security vulnerability? (161 comments)

"All of this is done wirelessly and doesn't require the use of any exploit or security vulnerability"

"...detects the wireless signal sent out by a target drone, injects WiFi packets into the target’s connection, de-authenticates it from its real controller and then authenticates it to the Skyjack drone"

Uhh... for what definition of "security vulnerability" is this not a "security vulnerability"?

about a year ago

Epic Online Space Battle

sheetsda Re:These big battles are a rarity (296 comments)

but there's SOO much downtime in between PVP fights

I reopened my account a little under a month ago (originally quit when Diablo 3 came out, THAT game was a waste of time and money.). After two weeks back with my old alliance, spinning ships, AFKing in station, I joined a new one. Night and day. I have seen more action every day in the new alliance than all 2 weeks with the old one. The problem for me was that the old alliance had largely faded from glory and the remaining members are 80% people in a 12 hour different time zone, and located way out in the middle of where there was nothing for a lone player to shoot at. The remaining 20% were insulated in their own system 15 jumps away and own teamspeak server. They invited no one else to come with them. The new one is right in the sweet spot for my time zone, and in a much better location for PVP and quite active. There is so much PVP going on I haven't had as much time to try out the new exploration mechanics as I would like, and best of all I don't feel like I need to be on all the time so that I don't miss what little action there is.

Ultimate lesson: A new corp solved your situation in my case.

I felt barely competent after 4 months of play.

But competent nonetheless... Mastering a game ultimately makes it boring. Four months would be quite a short time scale to master any decent MMO. The deeper the game, the longer it takes.

The curve is just too high for people looking to have fun and not turn the game into a way of life

I assume you have seen this, but I will post it for the amusement of others: EVE Learning Curve

Unrelated comment: I have only recently come to realize that EVE is only cosmetically a game about space ships. Its true nature is more a game of risk versus reward. You can mine in 0.5 space and make money faster... but those suicide gankers are 2 jumps away, or you can mine in 0.9 space and make less. Make your choice and live with the consequences. Trust no one, and never undock anything you cannot afford to lose.

about a year and a half ago

Why PC Sales Are Declining

sheetsda Re:What about gamers (564 comments)

Gamers and engineers and other hardcore users comprised a larger % of the PC market. These users tend to upgrade often to run the latest Doom at max 640x480 resolution with all options on.

Speaking as a gamer who was on the 1-2 year upgrade cycle 10+ years ago, even my PCs last a lot longer now too. My last 2 PCs have been play able to play the latest games at good settings for upwards of 4 years. This longer lifetime change coincided with my budget for building PCs increasing significantly (thank you, computer science degree). I'm unsure how much of an effect that has had, so take this with a grain of salt.

about 2 years ago

WA State Bill Would Allow Bosses To Seek Facebook Passwords

sheetsda Re:Well, does the law force compliance? (316 comments)

Granted, you maybe shit canned over it

You're looking at it all wrong. This is a weapon to get your least favorite office mate shit canned over it.

about 2 years ago

Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

sheetsda Re:Because you don't pay, you just complain (978 comments)

Bulk mail does not get returned to the sender. The post office will just throw it away.

I would argue this is helpful nonetheless as it increases the post office's costs related to bulk mail. I may adopt this practice myself. Here's an amusing thought: I pay for my trash service, a government agency is delivering some trash - can I write some portion of my trash service off my taxes? I understand typically you need to determine what proportion of the service is used for the purpose being written off. In the case of trash would that per unit of mass, per unit of volume, per discarded article?

Slight related, if only we had a similar solution to all the "free newspapers", advertisement fliers and other litter that gets tossed onto my driveway or hung on my mailbox once a week. I fail to see why *I* should be forced to deliver *their* garbage to my trashcan every week. After several attempts I was finally able to get one local free newspaper to stop delivering... mostly. No such luck with the advertisements.

about 2 years ago

Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

sheetsda Re:Because you don't pay, you just complain (978 comments)

Slashdot allows you to choose to turn off ads by paying.

There is (was?) also an option to turn off ads for 'positive contributors' whatever that means. I'm having trouble finding it in the UI right now, maybe pissing off the Blizzard fanbois a couple weeks ago cost me that option. :)

Anyway, this positive contribution concept could certainly be extended to almost any bulletin board like system and perhaps generalized into something like the captchas that are used as a way to digitize books. Find some minuscule task that somebody is willing to pay for being done on a large scale and you've got a business model. Imagine a future where Amazon's cloud service becomes a P2P network made up of the computers of people offering up their electricity and idle cycles as a ticket to free internet content for example.

about 2 years ago

EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games

sheetsda Re:Where are you going to go? (303 comments)

You are not buying things from Blizzard

You're fooling yourself. Blizzard is a publicly traded company. It is under no obligation to provide you with any more of a game experience beyond what is necessary to increase its share holders bottom line.

Until you can tie an item back to a players name (not character name - Blizzard holds the keys to that too) there is zero accountability. Bits in a database are cheap for Blizzard to flip.

Low risk, high reward, and really simple math.

about 2 years ago

Julian Assange Pans WikiLeaks Movie

sheetsda Re:blasts an (118 comments)

1. Abraham lincoln, neither vampire hunter nor martial arts expert

[citation needed]

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

sheetsda I have had some success (550 comments)

Same situation here. I'm a hardcore gamer, she is not. In PC terms I have had success with Orcs Must Die 2 and Portal 2. I also tried Magicka but that didn't seem to be her to tastes. All are available on Steam. Portal 2's level editor provides a lot of replayability and we're currently working our way through Nightmare difficulty on Orcs Must Die 2. I got her to try these when we started doing "His/Hers nights" where each of us has 1 weeknight to totally dictate what activities we do that night (with the intent that whatever we do will be together). OMD2 has been so successful we've played it on a few of her nights or nights that or not either of ours.

On the Wii the Lego series of games has been a huge hit, especially since she's a Harry Potter fan. Replayability is limited after you 100% each of them (number of hours varies, typically 20-40).

All of these games are specifically 2 player coop.

about 2 years ago

Blizzard Has a Version of Diablo 3 Running On Consoles

sheetsda Re:Really Blizzard? REALLY? (147 comments)

You don't like PvP? Don't participate.

In past Diablo games is that that choice was not left up to you, it was left up to the other players in the same game as you. I once heard someone lament there should be a force PvE option similar to the force PvP button because "if the griefers can force me to play their game I should be able to force them to play mine."

more than 2 years ago

Apple Pays Only 2% Corporate Tax Outside US

sheetsda Re:Make that 0% (432 comments)

No company pays a penny of their own in taxes, they just collect it from customers and pass it on.

Not true. My company pays all of my taxes because I pass on the expense in the form of my salary.

more than 2 years ago

Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

sheetsda Re:Child exploitation (580 comments)

Presumably the police who investigate these things need special dispensation to even collect evidence.

Even more interesting case - the people who police search engines and sites like 4chan. They get notified that someone has marked something inappropriate, so they can't even claim they downloaded it accidentally.

more than 2 years ago

Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

sheetsda Re:Child exploitation (580 comments)

Child rapists and killers don't start out as full fledged predators, they start out by fantasising, then they start collecting child porn because fantasizing is not enough, when even the porn doesn't do it any more they start raping kids or kidnapping and torturing them and very often they then kill them to hide their offence.

I want to drive a Lamborghini. Doesn't mean I'm willing to steal one, but "Greatest Police Chases 142: Exotic Cars" might pique my interest.

What does the above suggest about anyone who consumes your run of the mill hardcore porn? That they're all closet rapists and murderers just waiting for the right time to strike, who just happen not to have an under-18 fetish? Unlikely. What makes some significant portion (all?) of one group the cold blooded animals you speak of and the other Joe Six-pack?

Substitute in some other fetish. Are all the people who enjoy that fetish acting out their fantasies or forcing them upon others? The character Lawrence in the movie Office Space wanted to do "two chicks at the same time". Know anyone like that? Have they had such an encounter yet? If not, have they kidnapped two women yet?

more than 2 years ago

Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

sheetsda Re:Child exploitation (580 comments)

So if I am in possession of a Stinger missile and am nicked for the illegal possession of dangerous weapons that is a ridiculous thing to do? If I am in possession of large quantities of sarin gas It's ridiculous to arrest me and charge me for possession of dangerous chemical weapons?

Your examples are not analogous. The missiles and the sarin gas allow you to cause harm to others at some point in the future. With the porn you're talking about evidence of abuse (ignoring the sexting, etc... cases) that has already occurred. It'd be like arresting someone for having pictures of the results of your stinger missile or sarin gas attack. Not something most of us care to see, but it's not obvious how additional harm is being caused by the pictures.

It's actually kind of ironic if you think of it in the bigger crime context. How much easier would most crimes be to prosecute if pictures of them were readily available, yet here we have a case where possession/dissemination of evidence that a crime was committed is itself illegal. The law basically "If you're going to abuse children keep it quiet."

if making possession of such material illegal gives police leverage then need to force me to tell them who supplied it or even to force my cooperation in stinging the perpetrators?

If the person giving you such material is dumb enough to give you any information that can lead back to him, the police don't need your help. And besides, Obstruction of Justice is a crime itself.

more than 2 years ago

NCSoft Closes "City of Heroes" Publisher Paragon Studios

sheetsda Re:A bit sad to see (109 comments)

less grindy than other MMORPGs at the time.
Missions that consist entirely of [Go here|Kill some things|Click on something]{pick 1-3} were painfully boring so grinding was the way forward for a lot of us.

It helped that I played a Tanker, which was a horribly unbalanced class at the time. I remember forming a team, and single-handedly holding aggro on an entire instance worth of mobs, herding them into a corner, and letting the blasters let loose all at once. Good times.

I remember that too, it lasted a month then got nerfed, but it was CoH at its best - pulling and killing (no exaggeration) 200 monsters at a time is an epic and awe inspiring experience I have yet to see replicated in any other MMO.
Speaking of nerfing...
The method I used to grind my scrapper to 40 (Underlings or some class of tiny monster) got nerfed.
My Fire/Radiation Controller got nerfed.
Power leveling by forcing the average party to a middle player and using a high level player to kill high level monsters got nerfed.

If there ever was a game that was "You will play our way or not at all" it was CoH. NCSoft did a good job of making my heroes feel less powerful with each successive patch and for me that made the game forgettable. And I only played from [release] to [release + 3 months].

more than 2 years ago

Scientists Find Gene That Predicts Happiness In Women

sheetsda Re:you fail at biology forever (323 comments)

Pregnant women still seek sex.

I heard this explained recently using the example of horses (I think this came from a cracked article, so take it with a grain of salt). If there are multiple males around and a male will kill any offspring perceived not to be his own, then the female will mate with all the available males so that they all perceive the offspring as their own. Obviously this is not perfectly applicable to modern humans, but it doesn't seem far fetched that the biological urge would still be buried in our DNA somewhere.

The logical course of action then is for sex-deprived people to start killing all offspring that isn't theirs so that the opposite sex will put out more for fear of not passing on their genes.

more than 2 years ago



Virtual World Money to Aid Real World Relief Effort

sheetsda sheetsda writes  |  about a year ago

sheetsda (230887) writes "You've probably heard that you can pay for your EVE online subscription with the in-game virtual currency, ISK. EVE developer CCP has now taken that system a step further, and more noble by allowing players to spend that in game cash to donate to the Phillipines typhoon relief effort. Spend ISK for PLEX, donate the PLEX, and CCP will donate $15 to the Icelandic Red Cross relief effort."

Creative uses for extra drive bays

sheetsda sheetsda writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sheetsda writes "For many years now PC cases have included 3 or 4 or even more external 5.25 inch drive bays. These days with the proliferation of USB thumb drives and gigabit Ethernet, even my DVD drive has been gathering dust since OS-install-time. Before that when combination CD-RW and DVD drives were nonexistent or expensive that still leaves and extra drive bay or two. What exceptionally inventive, useful, or clever uses have the community found for this extra space? Bonus geek cred for solutions making use of the power rails inside the case."

Portal 2 Gameplay Footage Now Available on Steam

sheetsda sheetsda writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sheetsda writes "E3 Footage from Portal 2 is now available for viewing on Steam. A slew of new physics-based gameplay mechanics and their interaction with portals are shown including lasers, bouncing goo, and blackhole-like suction pipes. Looks like Valve has another winner on their hands."

Wi-Fi cell phone without data plan?

sheetsda sheetsda writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sheetsda writes "I recently became eligible for a cell phone upgrade per my standard U.S. cell phone plan. I know from NetStumbling that I live in an area of ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage so I decided that a cell phone with Wi-Fi access made sense and that paying $350+ per year for a data plan did not. What I didn't count on was the audacity of the pre-installed crippleware on the Blackberry 8120 I picked up. It refused to let me install apps from anyone except my cell phone provider (who had very few and wanted between $5 and $10 for each of them), and demanded that I purchase a data plan to even do so much as a Google search (after having loaded the Google main page and Gmail from Wi-Fi without issue). Obviously, I returned the phone. Before I buy another I am interested to hear from the community which cell phones work well for Wi-Fi-only-data? Will I need to buy an unlocked phone or is there a trustworthy provider out there that doesn't cripple the phone while customizing the software?"


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