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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

stephanruby Re:Actually... (112 comments)

If I was the parent, I'd encourage the kid to create games out of cardboard and paper, and possibly out of other physical materials. And of course, I'd play with him at those games. Also, if creating a game from scratch sounds like it's too hard, I'd ask him to take existing games, modify them little by little, and test how fun they are, among family and friends, after each time he makes a change.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm opposed to video games. I just felt I needed to add my two cents regarding non-video games, since the video game creation angle is pretty much well covered on Slashdot already.


All the Evidence the Government Will Present In the Silk Road Trial Is Online

stephanruby Re:if there is no evidence presented in how they.. (46 comments)

No, what happened to you was odd.

It's actually quite normal for the Supreme Court to pick cases where the lower courts normally can't agree on. In this case, the Supreme Court ruling was given on December 15th, 2014. So today, being December 19th, 2014, implies that there wasn't a definitive answer on this question until four days ago.

It's always been the case that if the cop had probable cause for conducting the search the results are admissible.

You're extrapolating. In the case of the Supreme Court case, the driver (allegedly) gave the cops consent to search his car. In the case of the parent poster, he doesn't say whether he consented to the search, or not.

Granted, "consent" can mean very little these days, just take a look on Youtube. To some police officers, even leaving your car door closed -- but unlocked, when stepping out of your car on the command of the police officer, implies that you've given them consent to search your car.


RFID-Blocking Blazer and Jeans Could Stop Wireless Identity Theft

stephanruby Re:This doesn't solve the problem at all (110 comments)

The RFID/NFC tag on your passport requires a lot of your private information already as the private key to decrypt it. And even then, the biggest additional piece of information at the first level of encryption it gives you is your picture (the same picture that's already in your passport).

Users with Android phones with NFC capabilities can check this for themselves.

Every time an official checks your passport, that digital picture is only used to verify that the physical picture on the passport hasn't been tampered with. In other words, this feature is used to prevent identity theft, not make it easier to do.

2 days ago

Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

stephanruby Re:Home of the brave? (580 comments)

Yep, this only emboldens the bad guys, now that some hackers have actually gotten companies to run away screaming from a fictional movie.

If they're not going to show it, they should at least release the movie to the file-sharing community. I just checked, but I couldn't find it.

2 days ago

Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

stephanruby Re:503 (391 comments)

On topic, Google, I appreciate the focus on security, but stop deciding to simply implement however YOU THINK the web should be working.

Google should do whatever it wants. After all, if I get annoyed enough by Google Chrome, I'll just switch back to Firefox or Opera. Only the ChromeOS/ChromeBook/ChromeBox users may be screwed (because they've made the mistake of locking their hardware to a specific vendor browser).

In any case, Google hasn't formally announced a decision yet, it has merely made a proposal public and started a discussion on the subject requesting feedback. The fact that everyone is condemning Google for this proposal vindicates all the companies that keep their discussions private and out of the public eye until they work them out -- all secretly first.

2 days ago

Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

stephanruby Re:No different than what we have here (82 comments)

Pretty sure that both the iOS and Android systems can do this out of the box, they just have chosen not to. There's also the old Kindle deleting 1984 incident.

If you bring up 1984 as an example, then you have to bring up U2.

3 days ago

Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

stephanruby Re:No different than what we have here (82 comments)

...but iOS itself cannot install software without asking the user.

Can't you install an app on an iPhone by only through iTunes on a PC?

If so, then yes, iOS supports remote installs.

3 days ago

Attorney Yasir Billoo Explains NDA Law (Video)

stephanruby Re:Who was forced to sign an NDA? (38 comments)

Me for one. I refused until the "Sign it or Mcdonalds is hiring" speech.

Were you interviewing to be a fry cook? Because that's an incredibly insulting thing to say otherwise.

Nobody insults someone they really want to hire.

4 days ago

Telepresence Store Staffed Remotely Using Robots

stephanruby Re:Cool, walk the walk! (52 comments)

Wish more companies consistently bought into their own message. Cisco employees should be able to work from home from any place in the world, right??

To be fair, Cisco is beginning to work like that.

The Cisco Systems executives remotely work from their yatch and the Cisco Systems workers remotely work from India.

4 days ago

Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

stephanruby Re:If Sony keeps doing it (250 comments)

Now, assuming Sony documents will survive, will be available for everyone, and will be commented, how exactly SONY will know which newspaper has caused an actual harm?

As you say, Sony won't know.

Besides, the newspapers do not need to download anything. They just need to let bloggers do the downloading and do the analysis for them.

Then once the information is out on blogs, and out on foreign newspapers, they can just republish what was said by those other guys.

The only thing they can do really is to stop advertising on the newspapers and on the television channels that choose to republish that information prominently, but this alone can't stop the wide release of the information.

5 days ago

Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

stephanruby Re:Two words (594 comments)

Speed bumps. Waze has done some strange rerouting taking me into the Bay Area. Instead of keeping me on US101 through the admittedly heavy slog by San Jose airport, it wants me to get in a long line of metered traffic to get on 85, then get on the heavily congested 87 freeway and then get in another massive line of metered traffic to rejoin US 101 right at the end of the runway.

Did this happen three days ago during the peak of the storm? Because US 101 was closed for a time? And for the time it wasn't closed, people stalled and damaged their car by driving through water.

5 days ago

French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

stephanruby Re:Out with the old... or not? (295 comments)

...I worry that Uber spells the demise of yet another low tech job. I mean, shouldn't there be something between fast food workers and cube dwellers? So I can see both sides of this.

You're framing both sides of the question incorrectly.

Do not confuse the worker, in this case drivers, with the owner of means of production, in this case the medallions-owners.

Where medallions are artificially scarce and can cost as much as one million dollars in New York, renting a medallion is an incredible weekly expense to have for the drivers and it ensures that taxi driver's lion share of their profits goes to the owners of the medallions, instead of themselves -- the lowly drivers.

Also if anything is destroying the taxi business, it's the medallion system, not Uber. During peak hours where medallions are scarce, one can not possibly hope to get picked up by a taxi during those times (unless perhaps, they're stepping out of a 4 star Hilton). And this artificial constraint only limits the number of driving jobs available. Once you lift this limit, you would only be creating new low tech jobs, instead of artificially limiting their number.

5 days ago

MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

stephanruby Re:Creating more victims (416 comments)

It also sends a really clear message: "This behavior will not be tolerated." If sexual harassment causes your name and work to be disgraced - that's a pretty strong deterrent to people in academia.

Destroying a man's career is already a pretty strong deterrent, not that it helped any in this case. Some people are going to do what they despite of deterrents. Many of those people are arrogant enough to think that they're never going to get caught, so that a particular deterrent doesn't apply to them.

So if you're considering the aggregate effect, you've also got to consider the aggregate improvement in the lives of students who now face less harassment and can learn in a less hostile environment.

Punitive action just for the sake of vengeance is not going to make an academic environment less hostile. If anything, it's going to turn that Professor into a martyr for some and it's going to make the academic environment more hostile in general to sexual harassment claims.

In this case, it was just a set of lectures, but imagine if the work had been a bunch of research papers collaboratively created. No one else likes to be punished for someone else's actions. And if the Professor was a good lecturer (I actually don't know if he really was, but assuming that he was), you're not just punishing him (which I have no problem with), but you're also punishing everyone else who may judge his lectures to be of value.

about two weeks ago

In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

stephanruby Re:Not to sound too paranoid (207 comments)

A raft of excuses ("battery's dead") and security problems come to mind; how would you implement such a system?

Not to worry, I have a phone charger with all the right attachments back in my cruiser. "Phone charging", quote on quote, is part of the many services we provide.

Believe it or not, I even have this handheld $20,000 gizmo that can back up the content of your phone in less than two minutes, whatever brand of phone you use. It also helps that SSD memory, by design, doesn't try to overwrite its memory spaces of deleted pictures with newly taken pictures, unless it's absolutely necessary. It's a way to make the SSD memory more reliable.

So if you're phone is not completely full, I may even find pictures that you deleted more than two years ago. Are you sure you don't want to tell me what illegal activity is on that phone, before I discover it myself. I'd go a lot easier on you if you told me now, instead of just wasting my time. After all, we both know I'm going to find out what you're hiding on that phone eventually, and then you'll be in hell of trouble.

about two weeks ago

In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

stephanruby Re:I'm not handing a cop my phone for any reason (207 comments)

Among other things it's basically giving them permission to search through my phone if they feel like it. Nope, I'll stick to a physical card.

Even with a physical drivers license, they always try to grab your entire wallet before you can pull out the driver license from it.

In California, it's not like they even need my drivers license (motorcycle police officers excluded). Most of the times, the cops in cop cars can already pull any Californian's drivers license from their onboard laptop.

The only thing I'm not sure about is their cell phone coverage. I assume they may not be able to download your data if they're outside of a 4G/3G cell phone coverage area.

about two weeks ago

Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

stephanruby Re:Blame Canada! (105 comments)

The court kept the evidence found in the phone — a photo of a gun and a draft text message referring to jewelry that said "We did it."

The guy should have just used SnapChat.

That's what robbers, who seek external validation from their friends, do nowadays after they rob jewelry stores or liquor stores.

I just can't believe SnapChat wasn't around in 2009.

about two weeks ago

Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records of Americans

stephanruby Re:At that rate ... (209 comments)

So what information can't you get that you need?

You stole my question.

What information can't you get that you need Mr. Government?

In San Francisco, a police officer can already pull the list of prescribed medications of any girl in California he's interested in dating (without any audit trail or oversight). Does every cop really "need" that kind of access at his fingertips for the war on drugs?

It would be nice if the information also freely flowed the other way. Can you let us know what prescribed medication police officers take? Which of them take meds for being crazy, or take meds for STDs, the public has the right to know about that. In fact, an STD test should also be required of a police officer anytime that police officer has an open cut, or provokes an open cut in someone else.

And what about the medication lists of district attorneys and sitting judges? It would be nice to know about their meds as well. The same goes for the medication of their wives or girlfriends. After all, if a cop/DA can get the medication information, and by inference the medical information, of myself and/or my significant other on a whim. I should also have the right to do the same to him.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

stephanruby Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

America, land of the free...

...and home of the lifetime sentence for nearly every crime. Best of luck to you.

Actually, not all the States in the United States have the same laws regarding criminal background checks. If I were him, I'd possibly consider moving.

In addition, many state laws provide some protections for applicants with a criminal past. Some states prohibit employers from asking about arrest records, at least if the arrest is no longer pending. Some states allow employers to ask about convictions only if they relate directly to the job, or require employers who consider convictions to take particular facts into account, such as how serious the crime was and whether the applicant has participated in any rehabilitation efforts. To find out whether your state has a law regarding employer use of arrest and conviction records, select it from the list below.


about two weeks ago

Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

stephanruby Re:What in the hell was he thinking? (388 comments)

The FBI contacted him pretending to be from the Egyptian government and undoubtedly offering a boatload of money. It is not known whether he accepted out of a sense of patriotism he felt for Egypt or for the boatload of money.

Or may be, it was neither and he was just told that Egypt wanted to build a massive Sphinx-like aircraft carrier that would mimic the Thundercats aircraft launching facilities. After all, who wouldn't want to support a cool project like that.

about two weeks ago

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

stephanruby Re:Over what time interval? (528 comments)

Shutting down the company gym was a big mistake.

It would have been the perfect trap for those North Koreans, trying to sneak in with their brand new membership cards.

about two weeks ago


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