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Comments

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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

bwcbwc Re:Billionaire and no he doesn't need the money (368 comments)

Yeah, just on off-the-cuff calculations, say 30 million copies across all platforms,could be as high as 40 M, but PC is only 16-17 M. I'm not sure what cut Mojang gets from the non-PC versions after you take out the development costs and Xbox/PS platform royalties, but let's say that Mojang grossed about $20 per copy overall. This includes he alpha and beta sales that were for under $20 averaged with the higher costs now.

This comes out to $600-$800 M before taxes, so after you factor in Minecraft Realms monthly fees and any income from Scrolls, you're probably somewhere around $1B in sales. I'm pretty sure there are more than 2 employees with equity in the company, and when you factor in Swedish income taxes, Notch is clearly not a billionaire in dollars.

It's worth $2B to Microsoft, because they can milk the Minecraft cow for at least that much by merchandising paraphenalia and movies, Minecraft Realms is also an ongoing cashflow. Oh, and I bet they institute a monthly fee for Minecraft Server.

Apart from the money, I think Notch is really selling because he's sick of the BS of running a company: Bethesda suing them over scrolls, parents suing them over exploitative MC servers....etc.

about a week ago
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Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case

bwcbwc Re:HP? (200 comments)

I was wondering the same thing. AFAIK, HP isn't even involved in the case, so it borders on libel to link their logo with this story.

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

bwcbwc Re: What the heck? (354 comments)

So they're blackmailing Mojang...

Bad move when Mojang is finally making progress on their own Mod API.

The other way to make this legal is to change the license on Bukkit/CraftBukkit to something more liberal. They won't be able to do this retroactively, so someone may decide to pursue this idiocy on a back-level GPL-based fork, but at least the main project could legally license under CC by-sa, BSD, Apache or possibly even LGPL.

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

bwcbwc Re: What the heck? (354 comments)

In other words, some idiot is trying to blackmail Mojang into open-sourcing Minecraft server by linking to Mojang's non-Open code into a GPL licensed product and then claiming that Mojang needs to release the source code to be compliant with the GPL? I know that the GPL states that all code needed to compile and link a GPLproduct must be available, but this is backwards. If there is Minecraft server code linked in CraftBukkit, that just means Craftbukkit and anything that links to it can't use GPL. You can't use the GPL to force open a non-open product that you elected to link to in your code. That just means you've misused the GPL in your own code.

Didn't someone already try this with proprietary graphics drivers in Linux?

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Harness E. Coli To Produce Propane

bwcbwc Re:E.Coli (82 comments)

Oh great, now when your family sets fire to their farts, they'll blow up the whole block instead of just scorching the carpet.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

bwcbwc Not precisely video editing.. (163 comments)

But OBS (open broadcaster software) does a good job of video mixing/overlays greenscreening. https://obsproject.com/

Corel Video Studio isn't quite free, but you can get it for around $50 on sale (or less if you go with a backlevel version 3 or 4) and it is pretty full-featured. It's not designed for full blown professional use because the front-end does more hand-holding than a pro would want, but the key features are all there.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

bwcbwc Re:That's nice, but... (419 comments)

Actually, this is probably the main reason MS is defying the US court order. If they give over the info without getting permission from the Irish government, they are likely to be in violation of Irish or EU laws on data privacy. They have some ground to defer the compliance with the US court during the appeals process, so they are deferring the risk of violating the EU laws until absolutely necessary. Or they may elect to take contempt charges in the US over greater charges in the EU, and reap the PR benefit. It definitely isn't a purely altruistic "defend the consumer" action, even if they choose to play it that way.

On the other hand, it does defend their customers against overreaching by the US, so more power to them.

about two weeks ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

bwcbwc Re:bandaid solutions (455 comments)

Well, yeah - cops and arrestees are both human. That's the fundamental problem. Are we ready for RoboCop?

The practical issue here is that courts and juries give more weight to cop testimony than Joe Schmoe's testimony. So most of the time when the cops do something wrong, Joe loses. The cams are the best way to generate evidence and history to counteract that bias. In the short term, they also provide final proof between the cop said/Joe said testimony.

about two weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

bwcbwc JavaBOL (511 comments)

Yeah Java is the COBOL of the 21st Century. It's the lowest common denominator, almost every programmer knows at least the rudiments, and the tool and support ecosystem around it is huge.

about three weeks ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

bwcbwc Re:OK, NOW I'm pissed. (441 comments)

More politely - if these guys spent as much (re)training each US worker as they spend on lawyers, visa fees and other costs related to bringing in the replacements, they wouldn't have a problem.

about three weeks ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

bwcbwc Re:Take it for what it is. (441 comments)

One reason I route all email from my company's PAC to my junk folder. Why should I help fund legislation against my own interests as well as those of the country.

Now if there was a permanent residence visa program, I might go for it. The foreign workers would have more bargaining power over their salaries/benefits and they would be long-term paying payroll taxes and other things that would help the US economy and budget.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

bwcbwc Re:Barnes and Nobles still lets you preorder (210 comments)

Walmart used to do (and probably still does) this to their suppliers. The only difference is the consumer never knew their was a coercive price negotiation going on because the product simply never appeared on store shelves, and usually there was a substitute from another vendor.

about 3 months ago
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Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

bwcbwc Chu's certainly up on his current events... (1198 comments)

but his history is pretty weak. Up until the rise of the internet in the '90s (or possibly the "Weird Science"/"Revenge of the Nerds" era in the 1980s), nerds/geeks/otaku were right up there with gays, women and ethnic/religious minorities for being bullied, harassed and abused by the crueler edges of the mainstream. And this kind of harassment still goes on in certain areas/communities - try being a geek in a gang-ridden slum sometime.

That certainly doesn't justify a nerd perpetuating the cycle of abuse onto women or any of the other groups. But it does mean that there are better ways to engage the "nerd community" than by claiming that they aren't the subjects of abuse themselves.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

bwcbwc What went wrong before? (294 comments)

In my experience a CAB usually gets introduced in a small organization if something really got screwed up under the old process. There are exceptions - you could get a CTO who is gung-ho for ITIL, or you may have a new, important customer who insists on "process". But a CAB is an attempt to manage change and prevent problems in the working environment. So unless you have a better solution that will prevent negative impacts from your change process, go do the paperwork, with special attention to any risks or issues associated with the change (extended maintenance window, complex install or backout process, partial or incomplete fixes that still leave issues open). You can probably half-ass the CAB and get your work done almost like the old days, but when the next failed change occurs and they find out you hid risks or didn't do proper research, your ass could be out the door.

OTOH, if you really hate bureaucracy that much, hauling your ass out the door could be your best option - as long as you have a different career in mind besides sysadmin.

about 5 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

bwcbwc Re:Being a Millionaire (467 comments)

What I get for not scrolling down before posting. Being a millionaire ain't what it used to be: it's definitely middle class now.

about 5 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

bwcbwc Headline is silly... (467 comments)

If you earn $80k+ a year, you need to be a double millionaire just in retirement savings to maintain your income when you retire. I guess this means 44% of developers don't expect to retire at age 65?

about 5 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

bwcbwc Inheritance... (632 comments)

This isn't just randomly going after relatives to pay a debt. The chain is
1) person A (allegedly) receives an overpayment
2) person A dies. The overpayment is a liability of the estate of person A.
3) Persons B and C inherit from person A. If no reserve is left in the estate, the IRS will come after the heirs for recovery.

about 5 months ago
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Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins

bwcbwc I love the irony of this... (147 comments)

While NSA was hunting sysadmins, they were being pwned by...a sysadmin!

Yet another example of how NSA is too focused on offensive network capabilities (breaking into target systems) and doesn't pay enough attention to defense (strong crypto, open security models, etc.)

about 6 months ago
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Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

bwcbwc All in all, this will probably go one of two ways. (498 comments)

1) Rollback Ukraine to previous "territorial integrity", possibly with some bargaining over the structure of a new government.
2) Russia annexes Crimea after their puppets declare independence and the remainder of Ukraine joins EU (and possibly NATO), starting a new cold war. Ukraine gets screwed over in this case because they don't really have any guarantee that NATO would back them up any more than the current coalition fails to.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Ricardo Montalban dies in LA

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "Ricardo Montalban has died in Los Angeles at age 88. Known to Star Trek fans as the villainous Kahn, as well as Mr. Roarke on TV's Fantasy Island, Montalban brought a touch of class to automotive ads as he extolled the virtues of 'Corinthian Leather'."
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Securing Home Routers

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "My home network is going to expand shortly as I upgrade my DSL modem to DSL/2 (possibly with an integrated router), and (finally) add wireless (802.11g since that's still at least twice as fast as the DSL port, and if I use 802.11n half the neighborhood will be able to scan my SSID).

While I've seen plenty of articles on the net about securing your wireless connections on the LAN side, and a few articles about hacking your router's firmware, I've never seen any deep articles about securing your router's internals from attacks from the WAN side. The only consistent recommendations in this area seem to be "make sure your firmware is up to date" and "change your admin password". Consumer-level stuff, not Slashdot-quality (is that an oxymoron?). This is fine if your router vendor maintains the firmware in the face of new attack vectors, but when the latest update for your router model dates back to 2004, it makes you wonder.

So my questions (maybe too many):
1) Which home routers (priced under US $100) or DSL Modem/Router combos (under $150) are the most secure? Which vendors seem to provide the best ongoing support for security and other programming issues?

2) What configuration options and mods can I make in the router settings to enhance my security. Changing the passwords, turning off uPNP and WAN ping seem pretty obvious, but are there any other good ones?

3) I know some/most routers are basically Linux boxes. Which routers are easiest to mod from a sysadmin's perspective? Is there a trade-off between LAN-side configurability and WAN-side security?

4) If I have 2 routers (one wireless+wired, one wired only), I have to plug one of them into the other. From a security perspective, is there a preference as to which router should be connected directly to the internet and which one should plug into the other? If the outer most router is compromised, it can become a man-in-the-middle against the inner network. On the other hand, if the inner router is compromised, it is already part of the outer router's internal subnet."
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FL Universities pay big $$ to block file sharing

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Florida Universities are paying big bucks for software to block peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Florida Atlantic University paid US $500,000 plus annual maintenance of $50,000 for software that isn't even configurable to allow legal peer-to-peer networks. The University of South Florida seems to be getting a better deal at $75,000 initial purchase with annual maintenance in the same range. Their software is at least configurable, so their students will still be able to download those Knoppix DVD images. Sounds like another opportunity to PROFIT!!! (Fair warning to those with high blood pressure: the article has a decidedly pro-RIAA slant. Reading it may be hazardous to your health.)"

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