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earlzdotnet (2788729) writes "A small town in the state of Colorado is currently weighing a new ordinance that would allow the issuance of hunting licenses for unmanned aerial vehicles, and even offer bounties for their successful takedown. Even if this law were passed, the types of weapons allowable for drone-hunting is quite restrictive: “any shotgun, 12 gauge or smaller, having a barrel length of 18 inches or greater". The town board is scheduled to consider the ordinance on August 6." Link to Original Source top
earlzdotnet (2788729) writes "Microsoft put out a press release today that they are doing a major reorganization of the company. From a quick glance, the biggest change appears to be treating each broad "category" of products (like operating systems, or applications) as a team, rather than each "suite" of products (like Windows, Office, Development): "There will be four engineering areas: OS, Apps, Cloud, and Devices.". This is probably an attempt to solve their big problem of teams competing with each other as enemies, rather than aimed at the same goal." Link to Original Source top
earlzdotnet (2788729) writes "A working copy of the HTTP 2.0 spec has been released. Unlike previous versions of the HTTP protocol, this version will be a binary format, for better or worse. However, this protocol is also completely optional: "This document is an alternative to, but does not obsolete the HTTP/1.1 message format or protocol. HTTP's existing semantics remain unchanged."" Link to Original Source top
earlzdotnet (2788729) writes "It would appear that Scott Torborg and Star Simpson got a chance to get an ever illusive Google Glass. Like a true hacker, they have done a complete tear down of it. They warn that it is not very easy to disassemble, but they also managed to reassemble it with only minor cosmetic damage." Link to Original Source top
SimCity Launch Failure: A good case for DRM being bad for business
earlzdotnet writes "The SimCity release happened, yet there are many people incapable of playing the game. Many can't install the game because the Origin servers providing the downloads are overloaded. This is to be expected. But, one cited reason for this is because they didn't allow preloading of the game at all. Even if you decided to buy a disk set instead of download it, you'll still have problems installing it because it still needs a few files from their servers that wasn't provided
One of it's primary features is multiplayer support. However, single player support appears to have taken a back seat. So, now even the lucky few that have managed to get it installed are having to wait in a queue to play the single player game because it requires a slot on their servers.
Although it's a best guess at this point, but one of the probable causes of all this happening is because they were trying really hard to prevent piracy. It's not easily possible to pirate a game if all the logic goes through their servers. However, by doing it in this manner, they have (like most DRM schemes) harmed the paying customers primarily. As a result of these failures, many people are steering clear of buying the game and even requesting refunds from EA." Link to Original Source top
earlzdotnet writes "I've been programming for a few years now, have a full time job etc. I'm one of those lucky souls that actually enjoy programming, so I commonly work on my own open source projects on weekends. However, I wouldn't mind working on a short-term(ie, not more than 2 months) project every once in a while on weekends.
I've looked at freelancing before and I could probably make more money by working at McDonald's on weekends than that. I've also looked into making web sites for small businesses, but it requires a bit too much commitment and support for me, especially since I'm terrible at graphics design. I've had my hand at trying to write reusable components to sell to other programmers, but that was pretty pointless(made one $20 sale). I've seen teaching suggested, but I'm self-taught and probably not experienced enough to responsibly teach people
Are there any other options to make a bit of cash as a programmer? Is programming just one of those things that requires complete dedication or what?" top
earlzdotnet writes "A new patent troll is in town, this time targetting the users of technology, rather than the creators. They appear to hold a process patent for "scanning a document and then emailing it." They are targetting small businesses in a variety of locations and usually want somewhere between $900 to $1200 per employee for "infringement" of their patent. As with most patent trolls, they go by a number of shell companies, but the original company name appears to be Project Paperless LLC. Joel Spolsky said in a tweet that "This is organized crime, plain and simple...". I tent to agree with him. When will something be done about this legal mafia?" Link to Original Source top
Developer of Facebook browser extension banned from Facebook
earlzdotnet writes "The developer of F.B. Purity (Fluff Busting Purity) has been banned from Facebook. F.B. Purity is a set of browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and others to make Facebook more accessible and remove some of it's most annoying features.
Facebook complains that they are violating their terms of service by interfering with Facebook's user-interface and not using the official API. They also claim to own the "FB" set of letters and say F.B. Purity must remove those letters from it's domain and product. And finally, Facebook also complains that his website is spam and therefore direct links to it is blocked from Facebook.
The developer is not yet banned from Facebook, but has been told that his personal account will be banned at anytime, along with the Facebook page set up for F.B. Purity. This isn't the first time F.B. Purity has caught the eye of Facebook's legal team, but it is the first time they've decided to outright ban the developer. However, it's impossible to ban the browser extension because it is... well, an extension to your browser. Facebook probably can't even detect one is using it." Link to Original Source