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News Bits [Dec. 31st, 2007|12:29 pm]

  • Thanks to a bunch of LJ friends that linked to this exposee of hotel room glasses and flagrant violation of sanitary practices. I mean, I didn't expect a lot, but maybe a little hot water and a rub of soap? This, however, transgresses into literally criminal territory.

  • An asteroid may hit Mars around the end of this month. The new probability is about a 4% chance of collision. This figure may get revised upwards a few more times before we know that it will or will not hit the planet. (The rising probability followed by a drop to 0% is based on uncertainty and... I could explain it with a cone and some lines... just trust me.)

  • Do not return merchandise you've loaded with porn. That's bad manners. Do not sell an MP3 player as 'new' that's loaded with porn where it may be a kid's Christmas gift. That's wrong and illegal and icky.

  • Speaking of music, the RIAA (record companies' mouthpiece) is saying that ripping CDs is making unauthorized and infringing copies, even when they're for personal use only. This statement flies in the face of accepted rulings on fair use, AFAIK. Still, it's scary that they can get away with this stuff and might make it stick.

  • Did you see that pterodactyl? Right here in Washington? That must've been cool. This guy saw it, while weaving through traffic and smashing his car into a light pole. Iron-clad defense, I'd say.

  • Kit and I both finished Portal. What an excellent game! Here's a snippet from an interview with the head writer on why there was the cake theme:

    Well, there are lots of message games coming out now. Like they’ve got something really important to get off their chest about the war in Iraq or the player is forced to make some dicey underwater moral choices. ... With that in mind, at the beginning of the Portal development process, we sat down as a group to decide what philosopher or school of philosophy our game would be based on. That was followed by about fifteen minutes of silence and then someone mentioned that a lot of people like cake.

    (It's somehow like the positive side of a Dilbert strip.)

[User Picture]From: the_gneech
2007-12-31 08:44 pm (UTC)
I'd certainly be distracted by a pterodactyl!

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[User Picture]From: yappyfox
2007-12-31 09:03 pm (UTC)
having worked in hotels for 15 years.. I'm more scared of the in room ice buckets.. they make convenient barf buckets at a drunken room party, or if someone is occupying the bathroom, a chamber pot. thus I always warn people.. use the liner bag...

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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2007-12-31 10:33 pm (UTC)
Which is why it always bugs the heck outta me when the liner bag isn't big enough around to fit over the edge of the bucket! ...Which is why I usually use my Igloo Minimate instead. I know they don't want people filling their ice chests from the ice machine, but the Minimate's about the size of an ice bucket, so I figure it's okay.
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[User Picture]From: twopiearr
2007-12-31 09:06 pm (UTC)
re CDs: actually, a lawyer friend of mine expressed that transcoding any digital media from format A to format B without explicit permission to do so is technically a violation of the DMCA.
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2008-01-01 11:13 am (UTC)
Did you get permission to transcode those words from your brain to this LJ comment?
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[User Picture]From: rakhan
2007-12-31 09:15 pm (UTC)
Washing Glasses?? Your be telling be people will be showering at cons next ;)
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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2007-12-31 09:43 pm (UTC)
I got SO sick at MFF because of the damn glasses. I shall be traveling with plastic cups from this day forward, count on it.
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[User Picture]From: menagerie73
2008-01-01 12:57 pm (UTC)
I so hope the asteroid pounds Mars, and that all of our satellites can watch it.

I can't stand the RIAA. If they could figure out a way to sue people for humming the music in the shower they would.

I am so out of touch with whatever the cake thing is. I've got to read the article sometime today.
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