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Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes

Sockatume Re:$108 million penalty (139 comments)

Only if he originally owned the home in the first place.

about two weeks ago
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Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes

Sockatume Re:$108 million penalty (139 comments)

I'm comparing gross to gross. If you want net-to-net, the quantity you probably want is the household discretionary income* which is about $20,000. HP were fined 2% of their net income which for our imaginary household is $400.

*After-tax income minus bills.

about two weeks ago
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Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes

Sockatume Re:$108 million penalty (139 comments)

HP's annual revenue is on the order of $100Bn, so $108m is about 0.1% of their income. The median US household income is about $40,000, so this would be equivalent to you receiving a $40 fine.

For international bribery and money laundering.

about two weeks ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

Sockatume Re:Extraordinary claims... (227 comments)

It's called pseudocapacitance: basically you have a hybrid of a battery and a capacitor, aiming for the high power density (i.e. rate) of the latter and the high energy density of the former.

about two weeks ago
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To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

Sockatume Re:Marinade, add beer to the marinade (179 comments)

You can cheat this using a ziplock bag, a bowl, and hot water. Get the meat up to an unpleasantly fleshy temperature, and it should only take a few minutes each side on a cast-iron pan to have a nice medium rare. (Use a meat thermometer to check its done-ness when you take it off the pan.)

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Sockatume Re:The noise problem is not just a TV one. (544 comments)

That's actually something that's happening. Apparently it's quite an interesting design challenge: you don't have to make it sound exactly like an automobile, so there's room to produce a "better" sound. One that provides more directional cues, maybe, or carries more consistent information on vehicle speed, or which is subtly distinguishable for each car so that you can better understand a busy street.

about two weeks ago
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ZunZuneo: USAID Funded 'Cuban Twitter' To Undermine Communist Regime

Sockatume Re:USAID (173 comments)

Did you skip the part where they would start broadcasting their own propaganda over the network once it was popular?

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Sockatume Re:Lies (544 comments)

Errors are sometimes purposeful. In this case, probably the editing team were used to dubbing appropriate background noise on footage of cars, because the sound of a distant vehicle would tend to be inaudible.

about two weeks ago
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ZunZuneo: USAID Funded 'Cuban Twitter' To Undermine Communist Regime

Sockatume Re:Oh goodness me, non-military means! (173 comments)

You want to give people the tools to overthrow their own regime? Fine.

You want to give them the tools, then clandestinely take control of those tools once they're popular to foment a favourable rebellion that suits your own interests? No.

about two weeks ago
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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

Sockatume Re:Good, I guess (148 comments)

If Netflix gets its own servers installed at the ISP, that's an improved service, but my understanding is that operators want to do things like prioritise traffic to/from their favoured clients when the network is oversubscribed, which is double-dipping.

about two weeks ago
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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

Sockatume Re:Cynicism (148 comments)

They started out by offering free roaming onto the other "3" subsidiaries in other countries (which are actually different companies in the same parent group). I guess they noticed how this encouraged people to actually spend money while roaming.

about two weeks ago
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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

Sockatume Where roaming fees come from (148 comments)

There's little actual cost involved in facilitating roaming. What happens is that every network charges the others high roaming charges, and nobody has any incentive to be the first one to drop and therefore lose the money.

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Sockatume Re:No problem (179 comments)

Nah, the last time I used CASH-4-URAnium they took five billion years and I only got half the quoted value for my stuff.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Re:Read the summary a couple times (465 comments)

I'm not even Australian, apparently I just write in some sort of impenetrable code.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Re:Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra (465 comments)

Thanks, I had no idea it was a specifically British idiom. Sokath, his eyes uncovered.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

The programmers didn't make a deal with Pepsi; Maker Studio, a subsidiary of Disney, made the deal with the programmers, and also later made a deal with Pepsi. The half-million dollars burned probably wasn't Pepsi's, but the studio's.

I suggest reading the article. Any of the four.

about three weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Re:wat? (465 comments)

Typo. I mean production. I definitely do not mean that existence is all an elaborate ruse to distract you from the terrifying truth about reality.

Nope.

about three weeks ago
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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

Sockatume Re:Wearable device feasibility (180 comments)

If Google want Glass to be well-adopted they can simply drop the camera; the camera is not all that useful in smartwatch-type applications, and is worthless as an AR device given that the display is tiny and off in the corner of your vision.

Unfortunately Google think that they can just brow-beat and market their way around an engineering and design problem in this instance.

about three weeks ago
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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

Sockatume Re:Citationless assertion (180 comments)

At least with your Palm you understood that you wanted something like that, but better. I don't think there's too many people who feel the same way about smartwatches that aren't the Pebble.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Indie Game Jam show collapses due to interference from "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about three weeks ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Would you like to see a half-million-dollar TV show in which four teams of indie developers and Youtube personalities compete to create amazing videogames? Tough luck, because GAME_JAM from Maker Studios has spectacularly imploded. Although a lot could go wrong with this kind of show, the blame isn't being levelled at game developer egos or project mismanagement but the heroic efforts of one Matti Leshem, a branding consultant brought in for Pepsi. After imposing Mountain Dew branding rules that even banned coffee from the set, his efforts to build a gender divide amongst the teams culminated in the competitors downing their tools and the projection collapsing. Accounts from Adriel Wallick, Zoe Quinn, and Robin Arnott are also available."
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Italian researchers demonstrate "powerloader" suit

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Researchers in Italy have demonstrated a powered exoskeleton that can lift 50kg with each hand, as demonstrated in video with the BBC. The "body extender" from the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa has been developed for applications like disaster relief, and is just one of many strength-augmenting systems being developed for use in rescue, military, and medical applications. While neither the researchers nor the BBC make the comparison to the Powerloader in the movie "Aliens", I mean come on, look at it."
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MtGox files for bankruptcy protection, confirms rumours

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 2 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The beleaguered MtGox bitcoin exchange has officially filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo, as reported in various news sources via AFP. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled; see The Verge for re-reporting) Bitcoin held an impromptu press conference that addressed recent rumours. They state that they have over $60m in liabilities against just $30m in assets, and confirm the loss of over $500m worth of Bitcoins, split between customers' balances (750,000 BTC) and company assets (100,000 BTC)."
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Google Apps licence unsurprisingly forbids forking, promotes Google services

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 2 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "If you want to ship a phone with Google's apps on it, you need to licence them. A copy of the OEM licencing agreement from 2011 was recently leaked, and Ars Technica provides a summary. Amongst the rules: a company licencing Google Apps can't act in a way that would fragment Android, but must also maintain the platform's open-ness; most of Google's services must be included; Google apps must be defaults, and placed within a couple of clicks of the default home screen. No surprises but it's interesting to see the details laid out."
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Zynga purchases mobile game/animation tech firm NaturalMotion

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Zynga, the controversial Facebook and mobile games firm, have announced that they are to acquire NaturalMotion for $527m in cash and equity. Zynga hope that their acquisition's successful brands and development software will reverse their own post-Facebook decline, announcing 15% job losses within Zynga in the same statement. UK-based NaturalMotion made its name in animation technology (used in Grand Theft Auto 4 and Bioshock Infinite), and published sports and horse-related iPhone games until it acquired CSR Racing developer Boss Alien in 2012. Despite the acquisition, the company will continue to publish games under its own name."
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Great Firewall of UK blocks game patch because of substring matches

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Remember the fun of spurious substring matches, AKA the Scunthorpe problem? The UK's advanced "intelligent" internet filters do. Supposedly the country's great new filtering regime has been blocking a patch for League of Legends because some of the filenames within it include the substring "sex". Add one to the list of embarrassing failures for the nation's new mosaic of opt-out censorship systems, which have proven themselves incapable of distinguishing between abusive sites and sites for abuse victims, or sites for pornography versus sites for sexual and gender minorities."
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Obama's NSA snooping changes will transfer oversight to FISA courts

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "President Obama will announce later today that although the NSA's data collection operations will continue, the actual information will be moved to a new "private entity". The NSA and other security agencies will then need permission from the FISC, also known as the "FISA Court", to access it. That body, which famously snooped upon Verizon's entire call database, will then evaluate whether access should be granted."
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NSA collects full text of 200m SMS messages per day

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Leaked documents from GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, indicate that the NSA has been accumulating a database of the full text of SMS messages, so that they can be mined for personally identifying information, travel plans, bank information, and the like. The archive targets the population in general rather than known suspects, a feature that GCHQ highlights as a major advantage."
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Secret Italian stem-cell treatment protocol leaked; concerns raised about safety

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Secret documents evaluating the stem-cell treatment offered by Italy's Stamina Foundation have been leaked to the journal Nature. The reports raise concerns about the failure to screen for pathogens, that the procedure disagrees with fundamental stem-cell science, and that parts of the clinical protocol were copied directly from Wikipedia. The leak also includes the extensive gagging clauses placed upon those evaluating the treatment's efficacy."
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Chinese firm can now produce 500 cloned pigs per year

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "According to an article published by the BBC, Chinese firm BGI has refined cloning procedures to the point where they can produce 500 pigs per year, performing two embryo implantations per day with a 70-80% success rate. Much of the operation is concerned with producing genetically-engineered animals for research. The biotech firm's other work includes million-individual-scale animal and plant genetic sequencing."
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Behind the scenes of WiiU software development

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Digital Foundry has published an article from an anonymous but trusted developer outlining the challenges of developing for the Nintendo WiiU. The piece confirms some common perceptions of Nintendo, such as their attitude to thirdparty developers, and presents a few surprises, such that network code wasn't made available to outside developers until the console was almost on sale."
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Standardised laptop charger approved by IEC

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 4 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The IEC, the standards body which wrote the phone charger specification used in the EU, has approved a standardised laptop charger. While the "DC Power Supply for Portable Personal Computer" doesn't have a legal mandate behind it, the IEC is still optimistic that it will lead to a reduction in electronics waste and make it easier to find a replacement charger. Unfortunately the technical documentation does not seem to be available yet, but previous comments indicate that it will be a barrel plug of some kind."
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Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 4 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again."
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Sony issues detailed PS4 FAQ ahead of launch

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Sony has released a detailed FAQ for the PS4 system, which launches in coming weeks. Of particular note: although Bluetooth headsets will not be compatible, generic 3.5mm and USB audio devices will work; the console will require activation via the internet or a special disk before it will play Blu-ray or DVDs; media servers, MP3s, and audio CDs are not supported. The console's "suspend/resume" and remote assistance features are listed as unavailable for the North American launch, implying that they will be patched in before the console launches in Europe later in November."
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Dell releases new Ultrabook that smells of cat urine

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The BBC is reporting that Dell's Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks have an interesting characteristic you won't find in any Macbook Air: the palmrest emits an odour like cat urine. An issue with a manufacturing process is thought to be to blame. Although Dell has assured potential customers that the issue has been fixed, reports in the Dell support forum indicate that units with the novel fragrance continue to ship out to users. Dell staff state that the palmrest will be replaced by Dell at no cost, but only if the unit is still under warranty."
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"Aliens" story of dubious provenance goes viral

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 7 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "By now you have likely read about the alien life forms discovered in the upper atmosphere of Yorkshire, via of mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield. Unfortunately, the paper comes from researchers with an infamous tendency to identify inanimate objects as aliens, and is published in a journal that seems to principally exist to print unlikely astrobiological claims."
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Notch shelves space game 0x10c, cites pressure, desire to work on small projects

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 8 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Marcus "Notch" Persson of Minecraft fame has indefinitely posponed his planned space game, 0x10c. Taking time to chat during a streamed TF2 game, Notch explained that he didn't have the energy to keep up with the community's interest; fans had gone so far as to transcribe the source code from his development livestream. The game's development had been stalled since April this year, when Notch explained that it simply wasn't fun to play, but other staff at Mojang can resume the project if they wish. He intends to continue his pre-Minecraft habits and "make small games and talk to other game developers about them". Text coverage at the BBC."
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UK's 4G network selling subscriber tracking data to police, private parties

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about a year ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The Sunday Times has revealed that analytics firm Ipsos MORI and 4G network EE attempted to sell detailed information on 27m subscribers' activities to various parties including the UK's police forces. The data encompasses the gender, postcode and age of subscribers, the sites they visit and times they are visited, and the places and times of calls and text messages. Ipsos MORI were reportedly "bragging that the data can be used to track people and their location in real time to within 100 metres" in negotiations. Ipsos MORI has rushed to contradict this in an effort to save face, stating that the users are anonymised and data is aggregated into groups of 50 or more, while location is only precise to 700m. Whether they were lying to their prospective customers or are now lying to EE's subscribers is left as a puzzle for the interested reader.

Despite their prior enthusiasm, the police have indicated that they will no longer go ahead with the deal. It is not clear whether the other sales will go ahead. The article is paywalled, however it has been reported on at The Enquirer, PC Pro and Information Age."
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Sony fined in UK for PlayStation Network hack

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about a year ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The UK's information protection authority, the ICO, has fined Sony for failing to adequately secure the information of PlayStation Network users. The investigation was triggered by a 2011 security breach, during which personally identifying information (including password hashes) was recovered from a Sony database where it had been stored without encryption. In the ICO's view Sony's security measures were inadequate, and the attack could have been prevented. The £250,000 (ca. $400,000) fine, the largest the ICO has ever imposed, is equivalent to a few pennies per affected user. Sony disagrees with the ICO's decision and intends to appeal."
Link to Original Source
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Google deal allegedly lets UMG wipe YouTube videos

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Google has given the music conglomerate UMG the right to arbitrarily eliminate YouTube videos. When UMG had Megaupload's "Mega Song" removed from the site, it was assumed that they had made a DMCA claim, and that Youtube was responding under its "safe harbour" obligations. Megaupload's legal response argues that UMG has no grounds to request a DMCA takedown. However in court filings, UMG claims that its licencing agreement with Google gives it the power and authority to unilaterally wipe videos from the site, bypassing the DMCA entirely. If true, that means that your activities on Google are not just curtailed by the law, but by the terms of their secret agreements with media conglomerates."
Link to Original Source

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