Anyone Can Now Launch Their Own Version of the Pirate Bay
A few hours to get up, a few minutes to be sued into financial ruin.
Seriously, starting up the site is the easy part. Dealing with traffic is an issue, but not getting sued into oblivion is probably more of a concern, as it has been the fate of many once-popular filesharing sites. Even TPB never solved that particular issue.
At this point, a decentralized client with built-in encryption - maybe something that hooks into TOR - would probably be a better bet for people that want to engage in such activities.
Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009
The typing I miss, but I can live with a touchscreen. What I really want back from the old days is the battery life that earlier BB's etc used to have.
FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate
everyone that has engaged in threats and doxxing against anyone need to be tracked down and punished
It will be interesting to see whom turns up in this. While I don't disagree that there's misogyny on the internet, I'd say that a lot of the contenders are part of a more general problem: self-entitled assholes and trolls. People who have little interest in the politics in the situation but plenty of interest in seeking attention, or people who don't just have issues with women but generally shit upon "anyone who isn't me." I'm not a woman, but I've had plenty of people in various games who've resorted to threats and insults, often based on ethnicity or sexual preference (even when they don't actually apply to me). I'd imagine that if I was visibly a female then that would just be an additional category to the usual insults and churlish behavior.
Rooting out some of the bigger contenders will likely do little for either side of the issue, but I'll still cheer if a couple of these bastards face some consequences for the bullshit they seem to dedicate their life to.
The Pirate Bay Responds To Raid
And that's just for movies.
If it's a game, you get DRM which - if you're lucky - may cause the game to crash. If you're not lucky, well, you get DRM which may cause your system to crash, or your optical drive to not function correctly, etc.
If it's music, well Sony BMG have demonstrated their regard for paying customers there, haven't they.
Oh, and let's not forget, you'll only get those unskippable FBI warnings and trailers if your BD player is continually updated so that it is actually able to play the damn disc, but hey that's still better than if you bought a hard-to-find DVD from outside your player's region code
Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents
It's definitely a good though. Two areas where I could see this failing are:
a) Where somebody has a legitimate need to haul large/heavy items. It's a fair response for a secretary or sysadmin, but not so much for a tradesperson due to tools etc
b) Where there aren't any safe routes. Maybe it's 4 miles and two hours by car, but 20+ miles by bike (unless you want to take your chances with a bike in traffic). This often seems to be the case in many situations.
I'm guessing that the road grade is probably fairly flat, so it's not an issue of "4 miles uphill" going in one direction.
Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents
Whose well-being is at stake,exactly? I'm not even sure which side you're supporting.
Nobody is going to die if there's more traffic. Nobody is going to die if they have to take the freeway.
However, one issue I could see is that - depending on the design and composition of the roads - lots of traffic on streets not designed for it could have bad effects on infrastructure (of course, caused by poorly designed infrastructure in the first place).
Sony Pictures Leak Reveals Quashed Plan To Upload Phony Torrents
I do believe you've been trolled. It was a fairly well-formed troll at that (in that it initially doesn't appear to be an aggressive attempt at trolling, but rather uninformed commentary), but still best not to feed them.
Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems
The biggest issue is that older people - who often either don't understand or don't care about much of this - vote for the conservative government that's currently in power. The younger demographic - who are getting thoroughly screwed by the current government in terms of less jobs, selling off of domestic natural resources, and increasing cost of education/housing/etc - don't seem to get out to vote. Now to be fair, some of this is due to the government screwing with the rules around voting (particularly around university students and where their voting locale is) but the biggest contributor is plain old laziness and apathy.
If you're a Canadian of voting age who is not happy with with the way things are currently going, and you DIDN'T VOTE, then you're part of the problem (not accusing the parent, just the lazy bastards in general).
BitTorrent Launches Project Maelstrom, the First Torrent-Based Browser
No, because the majority of people visibly using cash are still doing so for legitimate/legal purposes.
BitTorrent Launches Project Maelstrom, the First Torrent-Based Browser
I don't think that the GP was indicating the *project* was shady, but more likely many of the visible uses.
Like many things, freedom affords benefits to both paragons and scoundrels, but the latter may often be more high-profile or visible.
CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
So why give up a morally superior position to "fight" people who pose almost no threat to anyone outside their own countries?
a) Control of outside resources
b) Distracting from internal strife
c) Reason to spend money on military-industrial complex... which profits many of those who make these decisions.
AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads
Yeah. I do see some cool monoprice/dx.com/etc ads at times, but generally they're more "X found one easy trick to do Y and Z hates him/her for it", or when you're downloading software, there are billion fricking ads with big green malware-installing download links of various types, etc etc.
Who are the people complaining, because frankly I'd love to see them sued for deceptive and/or possibly fraudulent marketing.
Microsoft Files a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For Activating Pirated Software
For this, what I usually do is get the base machine setup (windows, drivers, common software, maybe antivirus, and activation), then boot from a linux stuck and back it all up using "NTFSclone" (usually piped through gzip/bzip). If windows takes a dive, then I just restore the image so I don't have to play phone-tag with the activation system.
I did that when I was building a new system and at some point become unbootable after certain software/updates were installed. After many restores I was finally able to find what was breaking the system (a combination of a driver update and AVG, it seems) and made it work.
Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
I'm afraid that, if I saw your resume after this, I'd reject it on the grounds of the horrible question without even having to consider the felony itself
Well thank goodness you're not my hiring manager. I would guess you're not a hiring manager at all, but - based on YOUR attitude - one of the basement sysadmins who feels like he is God of all technology and better than 99% of the rest of humanity.
The question isn't all that vague, and when reporting on a conviction one of the issues can be that there isn't much room for explanation. It's "[name] was convicted of X". So you may have a guy who's a convicted "sex offender" when all he really did was get drunk and relieve himself in sight of a playground at 1:00am. Unless you have a chance to explain yourself though - which often YOU WON'T, at least on form-based applications - then you probably aren't even getting to the interview.
I haven't any convictions myself, but I've seen some pretty dismally generic applications forms and "vague" pretty much fits them perfectly. Now, from a hiring perspective, yeah I'd feel a little nervous about working next to a convicted sex offender, but not so much the guy who peed on a tree... the problem being that most people aren't going to get past HR screening to the point where the details could even be discussed.
Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?
Honestly though, I can't think of a job where I haven't been "Available to occasionally work some evenings and weekends" and done so. The caveat is that I was generally paid accordingly for my contributions (either OT or banked at an accelerated rate).
In many IT positions, sometimes shit hits the fan and you need to stick around (or come back in). As long as it's not a constant thing it's not a huge deal.
The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought
Yes, one of the worst things the US does for actual pro-active security is to characterize non-friendly citizens are a bunch of techno-illiterate near-savages. Maybe it does something for morale to think yourself superior, but it also causes a lax attitude and underestimating your opponents.
The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought
Yeah, apparently the NSA didn't notice Snowden, and intelligence is their job!
That said, proper access controls are usually a good part of security. If a N. Korean janitor had physical access to the server room, not so good (if he was an admin, well you sorta have to trust your admins but you can still have some access controls in place with compartmentalized data)
Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?
"would only get triggered if the employee was accessing the network from an unknown computer"
A stolen or compromised computer is still a *known* computer.
New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails
violent altercations with police
I should start a new site: chimp-or-homelessdude.com
Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women
The problem with many of the numbers is that it's based on reports and extrapolation, and men are much less likely to report domestic violence.
Also, that just includes violence, not the person stuck in an abusive relationship because the spouse threatens to ruin him/her (take the kids, false charges, no money, etc).
There was a recent case of a Canadian woman who was killed by her spouse. She went back because she couldn't afford the lawyer to fight for custody, nor rent to live on her own. Many men are in a similar boat: facing loss of custody and/or crippling support payments.
Cross-platform game development
phorm (591458) writes "As a bit of a gamer, hacker, and coder, I've been playing with various 3D development kits for some time. There's actually a lot of choice out there, much of it crossing not only the PC triumvirate, but also into tablet/phone OS's.
However, perhaps one of the reasons we lack major AAA games on Linux is the lack of a AAA engines or dev platforms. Two of the bigger free options are Ogre3d and Irrlicht.
Ogre seems good for those with some coding knowledge who want to jumping into mid-level functionality. It allows for one to quickly develop a polished environment and with decent modern effects. However, sometimes it holds your hand too much to the point where more advanced functionality becomes difficult to implement: notably advanced collision detection and manual objects/terrain. Documentation rot may also be an issue if you're trying to use a newer version with older tutorials. Ogre3d is free and open-source.
Irrlicht, on the other hand, seems to offer flexibility, but definitely holds your hand less. This makes it somewhat more complicated for a mid-level coder to get down to business and see results quickly. Irrlicht is free and open-source
Unity — which targets more AAA game development — has increased Linux support more recently. While it still primarily focuses on Windows development, the producers do seem to recognise that Linux may be an increasingly viable option in the gaming market. Currently Linux desktop publishing is still in preview, but seems to be making good progress.
Lastly, the new kid on the (Linux) block. LeadWerks will be finishing their kickstarter soon, allowing for full Linux support (as well as additional features). Leadwerks is not a free solution, but the ~$100 price for backers won't break the bank. Leadwerks also offers source-code licenses according to their site."
Big-name games abusing app permissions
phorm (591458) writes "While it's no secret that sketchy app vendors tend to ask for unusual permissions on mobile devices, it seems that the "Big Name" companies are joining the fray.
I recently noticed that apps such as Electronic Arts "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" are asking for permissions such as the ability to read contacts.
On android phones, this gives them ability to see your contacts, including how and when you've communicated with contacts on your devices.
One wonders why a game would need to know who's on my call list and when I'm calling them. Is this an issue with dev-houses abusing the permissions of trusting users, or a sign that permissions in apps are still too broad.
It also shows how forward-thinking privacy-wise RIM was for their security model, as Blackberry apps can be set to "always allow", "always deny", or a more secure "prompt on demand" type security elevation. How is it that more popular device OS's still lack such core security functionality?"
Link to Original Source
Where do the alone go?
phorm (591458) writes "http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/13/bc-amanda-todd-suicide-charges.html
Recently the Canadian media has focused in on the story of Amanda Todd, a young girl hounded by bullies until she eventually committed suicide. While the story of bullying — or the horrible impact it can have — is not in itself unique, the somewhat haunting legacy of a video left by Amanda is.
The video — without words — shows Amanda as she holds up a series of notes detailing how a small mistake led to exploitation, isolation, violence, and pain.
The media is abuzz. Politicians are vowing to make a difference, and that things will change. But in the grand scheme, they really don't, do they? This is not a new story. Young people have died before. Politians have made speeches before. Schools will counsel. New rules will be made, and forgotten, left unenforced, or even misused. People will forget. Bullying will continue.
Social media, while allowing friends to stay connected, unfortunately also allows people like Amanda to be continually targetted, reducing the safe-havens for those in the crosshairs.I'm sure many here have stories of their own, and slashdot's own trolls are testiment to the despicableness and persistence of those who will do anything to get a reaction.
Some of us survive, perhaps to become stronger. Some — like Amanda — will not.
For those that know bullying, who have been its victims and survived, is there anything we can do? I watched this video wondering if — had I seen it before it was too late — could I have reached out and made a difference?
Is there a place where young — or perhaps even those not so young — can go where they can realize they aren't alone? In my day, I had friends across the world in IRC. People I didn't know but could talk to and share my thoughts on life. But even then, people who understood my particular situation were few and far between.
So where do they go?
The lost. The depressed. Those that could have a bright future if they can just survive their youth.
Where can they find shelter, to survive or even thrive?
Does such a place exist? How can we keep it safe from the aggressors, and how can we help young people find it.
At the end of the video, Amanda states...
I have nobody.
I need somebody.
How can we help these young people discover that they're not alone?"
Link to Original Source
LCD's and pixel warranties
phorm (591458) writes "As more and more devices are coming out with dense-pixel displays, it seems that the "x dead pixel" clause in warranties has become prolific with all vendors. Specifically, the clause states that the vendor will only consider a unit defective if the LCD has a certain amount (usually 4-5, but often it's specific as to certain amounts in different parts of the LCD) of dead pixels.
An LCD with a dead pixel is a problem. 2-3 dead pixels would to most be considered a fairly obvious defect.
How is it that the manufacturers get to say what constitutes a real defect or not? We don't have clauses on new cars that say "engine is not considered defective unless 2 or more pistons are seized", so what is it considered acceptable for LCD's.
Moreover, for a new-in-box product, how enforceable are these terms (which are generally not clearly available on packaging)?
For a fee, various suppliers offer anti no-dead-pixel-on-delivery warranty. If the issue is so common, why do people seem to accept it (and what's your recourse if you don't).
Lastly, when dense-pixel displays are often so dense that the human eye can't perceive a single pixel, how do you tell how many are dead (especially when a single "white" pixel is comprised of at least 3 component colors)."
Canadian court deciding on music-preview royalties
phorm (591458) writes "The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada is suing various telecommunications companies across Canada over the use of music "previews" (up to 30 seconds) for use as ringtones.
The CBC article is a bit short, but many questions could arise from the lawsuit. While the current lawsuit seems mainly targeted at ringtones, it could perhaps have a broader impact against sites which allow short previews of music, and what would the impact upon self-created ringtones (perhaps clipped from legally purchased music) be?"
Link to Original Source
Canadian Revenue Agency refuses to make amends
phorm (591458) writes "After driving a taxpayer into poverty, the CRA (Canadian Eqivilent to the IRS) continues to refuse compensation for its victim.
Irvin Leroux honestly paid his taxes, and did not run afoul of the tax agency until 1996. During an audit, the agency accidentally misplaced his receipts, sending them to the shredder. Without the expenses allowed by the receipts, several years of audits against Leroux ballooned to approximately a million dollars, comprised of "owed" back-taxes and penalties. Despite finding that the CRA actually owed Laroux approximately $24,000, no compensation has been offered for the life-destroying costs associated with the debacle.
With his assets all lost or seized, Leroux has struggled to live, let alone pay expensive lawyers. His case has been taken up by the "Canadian Constitution Foundation," which will hopefully proving for all citizens that the government can be held accountable for such mistakes."
Link to Original Source
When music licensing collides with other media
phorm writes "Recently, I've been looking up some various sci-fi shows that seem to have ended prematurely, wondering if perhaps they reached a conclusion on paper/DVD that they did not reach on television. As we all know, many are canceled due to lack of "popular" interest (they may be popular in the geek crowd but not enough of the mainstream), or conflicts with primary actors, etc
According to wikipedia, one series — "Dark skies" — met an interesting demise in that it was several times deemed too expensive to conclude on DVD or other media due to the prohibitive cost of licensing the music. Specifically, the wiki article (which cites other sources) indicates the expense was in "potential costs involved in licensing the period music."
This had led me to wonder: is this another case where lengthy extended copyrights have killed future potential? How often does music kill film, or possibly other media?
The last dated notation on this particular movie is from January 2009. For a series that premiered over a decade ago to be killed off by music that is likely even older shows how further and further lengthening of copyright has anything but a beneficial affect upon the entertainment industry overall."
Microsoft Australia says "use IE8 or get lost!
phorm writes "Microsoft is running a new contest to promote IE8, which — to users of other browsers — appears to severely lack in professionalism or good taste.
Had this link not been on the official microsoft.com website, I would have had a hard time believing that even they could so have let this one slip past the PR department, however if you visit http://www.microsoft.com/australia/ie8/competition/ with firefox, you will get the message that Microsoft has "buried" $10,000 somewhere on the internet, "but you'll never find it using old firefox."
The page goes on further to state that you should "Get rid of it, or get lost"
Is this Microsoft's true attitude, or was this just a poorly worded attempt at humor that slipped through the PR cracks?"
Link to Original Source
SPAM filtering for non-email purposes?
phorm writes "While filtering for SPAM on email and other related mediums seems to be fairly productive, there is a growing issue with SPAM on forums, message-boards, blogs, and other such sites. In many cases, sites use prevention methods such as capchas or question-answer values to try and restrict input to human-only visitors. However, even with such safeguards — and especially with most forms of capchya being cracked fairly often these days — it seems that spammers are becoming an increasing nuisance in this regard.
While searching for plugins or extensions to spamassassin etc I have had little luck finding anything not tied into the email framework. Google searches for PHP-based spam filtering tends to come up with mostly commercial and/or more email-related filters.
Does anyone know of a good system for filtering spam in general messages? Preferably such a system would FOSS, and something with a daemon component (accessible by port or socket) to offer quick response-times."
90% of gaming addiction patients not addicted
phorm writes "BBC is carrying an article which states that 90% of visitors to Europe's "video game addiction clinic" are not, in fact, addicted. The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue.
In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better "in the game" than elsewhere in "the real world." This has been discussed before, with arguments ranging from gaming being a good way to socialize, the clinical definition of gaming addiction, and claims than males are wired for video-game addiction."
New catalyst in electrolysis to store solar energy
phorm writes "Reuters is carrying an article about a recent MIT development which may pave the way for solar-energy to be collected for use in low-input periods. According to Reuters, the discovery of the a new catalyst for separating hydrogen+oxygen from water requires only 10% of the electricity of current methods. This would allow storage-cells to function as a form of battery for other forms of energy-collection, such as solar panels. The new method is also much safer (and likely environmentally friendly) than current methods, which require the use of a dangerously caustic environment, and specialized storage containers."
Bell wants to dump third-party ISP's entirely
phorm writes "Not only is Bell interfering with third-party traffic, but — according to CBC — they want third-party ISP and phone carriers off their network entirely.
This Story details how Bell is lobbying to lease-conditions on their networks removed, stating that enough competition exists that they should not longer be required to lease infrastructure to third-parties. Perhaps throttling is just the beginning?"
CBC to broadcast program finale on BitTorrent
phorm writes "The CBC television program "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister," which recently aired its final episode and is already notable for having conducted auditions on YouTube and having its own Facebook group, is now planning to release a high-resolution, DRM-free version of the finale via BitTorrent.
As other media companies continue to slam BitTorrent as being only a "tool for piracy", will the continued increase of its use in legitimate distribution overshadow these failing arguments?"
Link to Original Source
You can not reverse-engineer our GPL-violations...
phorm writes "If appears that Monsoon Technology, the makers of the Hava media-transmission systems, don't quite understand the GPL. As some users pointed out in their forums, their systems appear to be based on Linux and various GPL'ed software, with the output of "strings" and other tests showing signs of running busybox and others. A monsoon spokesperson on the forum has indicated that they are aware it uses GPL'ed software, and are "working" on making source available, but at the same time are dropping various threats against supposed reverse-engineering of the software by those that determined the GPL violations.
A few snippets from the Monsoon rep include:
I have a little secret to let you in on — HAVA runs Linux! Yes, much of the source is GPL and we should publish those sections which we have modified per the terms of GPL. A project is underway to pull this together.
A couple of observations — some of you appear to be violating the terms of the End User License Agreement
You recognize and agree that the HAVA Software including its structure, source code and the design and structure of modules or programs, constitute valuable trade secrets owned by Snappymultimedia or its licensors. You will not copy or use the HAVA Software except as expressly permitted by this EULA and, specifically, you will not ...
(b) yourself or through any third party modify, reverse engineer, disassemble or decompile the HAVA Software in whole or part, except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law, and then only after you have notified Snappymultimedia in writing of your intended activities;
Seems to me that some of you have just come out blatantly admitting you are reverse engineering the firmware — or trying to. How should we handle this?
As responses have indicated, the methods used to determine the violation do not seem to constitute reverse-engineering. Moreover, the initial friendliness of the rep is severely marred by the apparent hostility of the later message, as forum members have indicated. The overall message seems to be "we have not lived up to our obligations under the license of the software which we are using, but we'll get to it... sometime. Meanwhile, do not attempt to poke around our code yourself or things will get ugly."
The owners of BusyBox have been notified of this violation, however the response is still troubling. Is this the response we should come to expect as more and more commercial software uses and misuses GPL'ed components?"
HP removes all support for windows 98, ME
phorm writes "At my work location, I suppose a number of older (pentium-III generation, sometimes pentium-II) machines which run using windows 98. Recently, after re-imaging a machine, I attempted to download a printer driver from HP's website only to be greeted with a message stating that HP has removed all drivers for windows 98, 98SE, and ME, and will no longer offer CD's with drivers for hardware under those platforms. This includes the removal of drivers for any printers, etc that previously existed on the HP site.
Here's the blurb [and printable version] from HP's website, they blame it on changes from Microsoft but frankly I can't see how this affects older, previously-available drivers:
As of July 2007, HP will no longer be able to offer software driver downloads or replacement CD ordering for Windows 98, 98 Second Edition (SE), or Windows Millennium (Me) for your HP printer, all-in-one, camera, or scanner. Microsoft has stopped providing and supporting certain files related specifically to Windows 98 SE, and this change affects all technology companies. HP, along with other technology companies, is no longer able to use selected components in support of Windows 98SE, which has an impact on our software strategy for Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, and Windows Me.
Although the software drivers for Windows 98, 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me will no longer be supported by HP, your HP product will still work with these operating systems with the software provided to you on the CD that shipped with the product. Also, if you have previously received a software CD that lists any of these operating systems on the CD label, or downloaded a driver for one of these operating systems, please maintain these files. These files will no longer be available in the HP online support Web site or in any other HP support options (such as e-mail, chat or phone support) after the date mentioned above.
This information supersedes any statements in the printed documentation, the online Help and also other documents available in the HP support website.
Link to Original Source
phorm writes "I was recently having a discussion with a friend wherein we noticed that, although we had been lacking in sleep lately, we were — in general — feeling somewhat less tired. More specifically for myself, I generally end up feeling more alert in the morning, sometimes with a more steep drop-off towards night.
This had led to research over the concept of how much sleep is optimal, and how much is enough. Interestingly, it seems that many who are into heavy fitness schedules (bodybuilders etc) require lesser sleep amounts to maintain an alert state. This would seem to fit with my own observations, in that if I have exercised heavily, I tend to fall into a deeper sleep, within a shorted period of time. However, if I have exercised in a way that has over-strained my body, sometimes extra rest can be required, most likely so that it can "fix" itself.
I have many memories of college wherein intellectual stimulation would also have the same result. Coding would run into the early AM hours, and at some point when my brain was reduced to gelatin I would return home for about 3-6 hours of sleep, and still manage to feel active and refreshed the next day. Coding where I went to bed before my brain gelified might result in tossing-and-turning.
Stimulants, of course, affect either of these situations, but as I'm not much of a caffeine drinker (particularly later in the day), I believe that can be ruled out.
So, how much sleep does a normal slashdotter need before being able to achieve uncaffeinated alertness? What tips and tricks can you recommend to pull a few extra hours out of the day (much like many fitness fanatics do) without sacrificing your health or alertness? How do you trick your body into achieving the almighty "power-nap" or "super-sleep" for quick revitalization?"
phorm writes "A lot of cool movies have been coming out nowadays using not-too-expensive hardware and consumer-available software. In particular, works such as Star Wreck have shown that you don't need to be a big-budget production company to create modern effects and impressive video. Even the PC hardware that's available to consumers nowadays is coming closer to the power of big-production, with dual-core and even quad-core technology pushing into the marketplace, and high-capacity hard-drives + RAM becoming ever-lower in price.
However, I have noticed that most software used along these lines is still commercial and/or closed source. Open-source software along these lines would allow for greater intregration and/or private development. In particular I have some interest in integrating software based on some of the free 3d SDK's with blue-screening, allowing for new and interesting combinations of reality and fantasy. Does anyone know of any open source (linux or windows, but preferably for linux or both) software to handle bluescreening or greenscreening? Perhaps a modification of existing software such as EffecTV would allow for realtime effects and new concepts in realtime digital video effects."