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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

tlhIngan Re:Broadcom don't deal with little guys (164 comments)

It's just the way they do business. I think they're about volume rather than margin. They're not even vaguely interested in enthusiasts or small scale jobs.

They are. If you take a look around, you'll find a Broadcom chip in everything. Be it WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, NFC, Ethernet (MAC or PHY or both, or switch chips), DOCSIS chipset, DSL chipset, router processors, etc. They make a custom SoC for everything.

Broadcom's business is basically a line item for your specific purpose - you want a DSL modem? Just buy the reference design and rebrand it, because they have it.

And the other reason is Broadcom chips are CHEAP. Stupidly cheap. That's why they're everywhere - take a hit on margin and make it up with volume.

Most silicon vendors are like that - they can only deal with big vendors, so they do. Sometimes you find an enlightened one who actually makes a deal with a company to be a point of contact for smaller orders. E.g., if you want to deal with Qualcomm directly, you have to be a big player. But you can still use Qualcomm's products because Qualcomm has a small set of companies to whom they pass smaller deals off to. These smaller companies deal with Qualcomm directly and get all the technical information from Qualcomm, but they're smaller and can deal with smaller projects far more easily than Qualcomm can.


Wi-Fi Router Attack Only Requires a Single PIN Guess

tlhIngan Re:Wireless security (82 comments)

Well, it's to make life simpler for users.

WPS - the alternative to this for "regular users" is no security. Great for those who need a hotspot in a hurry, not so great in general. Instead, all users need to is hit a button and enter a code.and they have encrypted WiFi working. It's just like TouchID on the iPhone - Apple realized people should use passcodes for security, but many don't because it's )@*#&%*(@ annoying to enter it (especially if you have "complex passcodes" on) 1,000 times a day.

WPA is still good, as long as you're using AES. TKIP is worthless, but that was designed for a time when WiFi chips had WEP accelerators and TKIP took advantage of that. These days everyone has AES accelerators and guess what? There have been no attacks on those running WPA-AES. And there is VERY little difference between WPA and WPA2 running in AES mode.

Guest networks - they're not open hotspots. You can lock them down as much as you want. But they allow you to have guests over and give them WiFi without letting them all over your network. You know, perhaps you have friends over and they want WiFi. You can be the crappy friend who doesn't let anyone on WiFi (use your data plan!) or just give them access to your guest network and know traffic is isolated.

Very useful if you have siblings who are less than technically skilled and come from from college with laptops loaded with spyware, worms, trojans and other nasties designed to infect other PCs. Well, give Sis guest access and keep your network safe. OR use that network while you're cleaning the crap off it.

2 days ago

Mozilla To Support Public Key Pinning In Firefox 32

tlhIngan Re:Please... (88 comments)

How about a stable 64-bit version for Windows,

THere were stable builds for Windows. The problem was people needed plugins which weren't available (because a 64-bit browser can't run 32-bit plugins without a thunk layer). Chrome did it because Chrome ships with the plugins recompiled for 64-bit (because Google has the source code to Flash and all that).

It's the same reason why Microsoft actively discourages use of the 64-bit version of Office.

Though, other than being "64-bit", is there a real reason for having a 64-bit browser?

3 days ago

Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

tlhIngan Re:Say what you will but this is cool (52 comments)

Amazon recently announced it was getting into the advertisement business, and it beat out Google to acquire Twitch.

Pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if this is just Google's CEO trying to steal some of the spotlight away from Amazon?

The real reason Amazon scooped Twitch and not Google was Google was worried about anti-trust issues if it bought Twitch .

Amazon didn't get Twitch because they paid more than Google (Google offered more), Google walked away worried. Twitch probably egged Amazon on to get more money from Amazon after Google went away.

3 days ago

Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

tlhIngan Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (135 comments)

Reading about the US I really like consumer protection laws in Germany. Everything is so much more consumer friendly and open. Companies have to identify themselves (i.e. have an imprint), all taxes have to be included in prices and if you buy something you have all kinds of rights (two week period to send stuff back/cancel contracts, two year warranty on physical items and such) that cannot be taken away by ToSs.

It's such a different culture. US companies often struggle because they're used to the whole "corporations first" mindset.

On the flip side, you realize stuff in Europe is way more expensive, right? And why people in Australia complain that stuff is more expensive too.


If you mandate that everything has a 2 year warranty, then consider the next time anyone asks you in North America, "Do you want to buy an extended warranty?" and being forced to say "yes". Because that 2 years is now built into the price of the unit itself. It doesn't matter if you'd normally say "no" and be done with it, you're forced to say "yes" and pay up.

Likewise, if you're forced to handle returns on digital items, well, don't be surprised when people either a) don't want to do business with you (see music/movies geoblocking), b) charge for the privilege (i.e., it costs more).

Now, Australia is a bit funny in that respect because they want to encourage the practice of buying from other regions to get better pricing to help drive down the local prices. Yet at the same thing, those other retailers don't have to accept returns or deal with Australian law (and the Australian representatives can easily say since you didn't buy it in Australia, the law doesn't apply - if you want a refund, deal with the overseas store you got it from).

In fact, if you compare pricing, you'd find after warranties and embedded taxes, the price gap isn't as big as it once was.

3 days ago

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tlhIngan Re:why the focus on gender balance? (569 comments)

No doubt, history is filled with all kinds of evil misogyny, racism, and homophobia...and large swaths of the planet still have those problems, especially in the islamic world. But we lose sight of the truth, that people are individual *actors*, not *objects*, all too often. Fighting the scourges of discrimination of various sorts doesn't lead to some predetermined statistical balance, it gives individual actors the *freedom* to make the choices they'd like. Sometimes, those free choices are lopsided, and that's *okay*.

The problem is not if a gender imbalance is inappropriate, but the question we should be asking is, is there any systematic problem?

There's a fine line between "they don't want to do it" versus "they're being actively excluded from doing it".

So the question is - in all fields, is there something we're doing that prevents women from entering the tech field, or editing Wikipedia?

It could be something as simple as "women can't stand the immaturity of tech people" (given all the trolls and all that). In which case, the reason we don't have more women is systematic - we're all a bunch of immature idiots who cannot behave. Now, whether or not we think it's a problem is another issue altogether, but knowing that, it's a lot clearer as to why.

If the answer is instead "women just don't like tech" then fine, the imbalance will remain because we can't change personal preferences. We can ask perhaps why they don't like tech and it could be stuff like "don't want to sit in front of a screen all day" which is something we cannot change, and must accept.

That's the real question we should be asking - WHY is there an imbalance, and is it something we can potentially fix. If it isn't, then fine, we shouldn't bother trying - but at least we know. If it can be fixed, then perhaps we should look at ways to fix it.

If it's because of something stupid like "tech people are immature" it's a real problem we need to fix for many reasons, including simple respect - if you don't act like you deserve respect, don't be surprised when people don't. (Why do you think video games get the stereotype of teenage boys, despite the average gamer being over 35? Act like teenagers, and people believe you are).

3 days ago

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tlhIngan Re:Obvious Reason (569 comments)

Have you edited Wikipedia lately? It's a fucking nightmare of committee-watched articles and instantaneous reversions.

There we go, the real reason.

I mean, face it, men are just more willing to be the trolls and make life miserable for each other. Women see that and avoid the whole issue altogether.

We saw it with that article on games vs. women article. They simply see what happens as basically a bunch of horny teenagers with ragers going on, and simply steer clear to avoid the trouble. Wikipedia is the same - it's no better in the end.

Now, whether or not having women think all people who enjoy videogames or use wikipedia are immature teenagers is a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know. It just makes the entire population no better than construction workers who catcall women as they pass on the street. So much for intelligence, I guess?

4 days ago

Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

tlhIngan Re:Walled garbage approach (126 comments)

They should crowdsource this. Simply mark new apps as being in a probationary period and give downloaders the option of tagging the app as misleading, malware, abuse of permissions, etc. It would greatly help their human staff find the bad apples quickly. Of course the same goes for Google and Apple.

The problem comes when the apps are ported.

Say I make ACoolApp on iOS, and it's so good, someone makes an Android version. Call it "AndroidCoolApp". Now much richer from iOS sales, I decide to try my hand at Android development, and port it to Android. Now what?

ACoolApp for Android is technically "duplicate" of AndroidCoolApp, but that was a duplicate of ACoolApp to begin with.

It's happened a few times. And while it's true there are a few intentionally deceptive (search 1Password and find the REAL one), there are also plenty where both apps are legitimately developed - someone sees a cool app on the other platform, the developer is "taking too long" and release their own.

And that's the real problem - how do you properly draw the line between apps that are legitimate but happen to be similar because one inspired the other, and apps that are pure scamware and trying to undermine the original developer?

Hell, what if you make a flappy bird derivative that has some neat twists in it? Does your app no longer exist because of all the others? (And face it, most people would download the app, run it for two seconds and then mark it duplicate without trying to play it).

4 days ago

Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

tlhIngan Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (522 comments)

Indeed. However, the Discovery Institute's chance of success depends entirely on obfuscating that goal. There's a lot more people who would support "intelligent design" as some sort of oppressed underdog "scientific theory" than who would support it as the blatant theocratic idea it really is.

Which is why it's called Intelligent Design. in fact, when they were converting from Creationism to Intelligent Design, they basically did a search and replace. And they left transition fossils to show how "Creationism" evolved into "Intelligent Design" because of a messed up search-and-replace.

(A transition fossil is just that - if you have animal A and animal B, and you know B evolved from A, then there has to exist a creature in-between A and B, called the transition fossil since evolution works on such timescales that many generations of creatures will exist between then and now).

Yes, there was evolution in the DI texts :).

It's too bad that more Americans believe in creationism than the great flood, since the latter is a lot more scientifically plausible than the other two ideas you mentioned. I mean, it's pretty clear that the "entire earth" didn't flood, but it may sure have seemed that way to somebody living in what is now the Black Sea about 7600 years ago.

True, there was evidence of it, however there was unlikely to be an Ark. Maybe 40 days and 40 nights of rain, but that's about it.

Approximately 40% of Americans believe God created humans as-is. (The rest believe either humans evolved, or humans evolved with God providing a helping hand). And that percentage has remained fairly stable over the past 30+ years.

5 days ago

Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

tlhIngan Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (522 comments)

On the bright side, framing the debate in those terms might help convince the kind of people who would argue that we should "respect all sides of the issue" (or some politically-correct BS like that) that these anti-scientific ideas really don't belong in science class after all. I think the lawmaker did us a favor and I'm optimistic that his plans will backfire.

It doesn't matter. The WHOLE reason we're having this debate is not about science. It's not even about creationism or "intelligent design" or however we "evolve" the term.

The Discovery institute (the real organization behind all this) believes fundamentally, society went awry when we did the whole "separation of church and state" thing and that religion in school meant students were better behaved and more obedient, and society as a whole was just better off.

So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy".

(Yes, it glosses over a LOT of things, like racial issues, the fact that there are more religions than just Christianity, etc).

Basically all of society's ills are the direct result of secularism and the pursuit of "things" (money, toys, stuff) instead of spirituality.

It's just that creationism is the wedge issue that can get them in the door the easiest since a lot more Americans believe in it (than say, a great flood happened, or that everything we see was made in a week a few thousand years ago). And once you're in the door, spreading the other beliefs becomes a lot easier.

5 days ago

Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

tlhIngan Re:Particle state stored in fixed total # of bits? (247 comments)

Or Quantum theory. Ever notice how things are quantized (i.e., they come in discrete packets of stuff) rather than a continuous spectrum?

Or how once you get below a certain size, the rules of physics just seem to break down and it all becomes random?

Well, we hit the resolution limit of the simulation, and the quantum "foam" is the LSB of the simulation. Even in computing today (especially floating point) you have to be careful in how you order your operations so you don't lose TOO many bits in the mantissa due to computation error. Well, that's what the quantum world is - computation errors flipping the LSB around in random unpredictable ways. It's just we're able to guess at the likelihood of it being in a certain way because the simulation runs the same operations the same way (and loss of precision can generally be approximated). But it too loses precision during calculations which is why the quantum world is statistical. A software upgrade to the simulation can change the way the least precise bit behaves, if they changed that part of the simulation calculations.

So there you go. The resolution limit of the universe is h-bar, representing the limited precision of our simulation.

5 days ago

HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

tlhIngan Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (135 comments)

How do you fuck something like that up?

Separate assemblies - the ones who do the power supply generally are very good at it (including the IEC plug the AC power goes into). The output end is typically just a header, and the cables are provided by a third party who specializes in making terminated cables. (Especially modern laptop cables which can have several conductors and indicators), with the only requirement that the power supply end use a mating connector.

Though, cases and other stuff are also often done by someone else (the power supply manufacturer will often assemble it all together though).

And customers are stupid and they yank on cords that cause the wires to stretch and break, or bend them tightly. It all frays the insulation.

Apple has the same problem and often times if you take in a power adapter with a frayed end, they may replace it for reduced cost. Moreso if the machine it goes with is under applecare (and since they're all compatible with each other...)...

5 days ago

Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

tlhIngan Re:Address space randomization does not help. (98 comments)

Yes, ASLR somewhat works but is an afterthought. The ultimate solution would be to stop using computers which mix data and code adjacently, in other words get rid of the whole von Neumann computer architecture.

There are plenty of processors that are Harvard architecture out there (separate data/instruction memory). Though modern architectures do have a bit of Harvard in them (the separated instruction and data caches). And memory segmentation and permissions do help split code and data into separate areas.

The problem is that von Neumann makes computers extremely useful because you're able to treat code as data, so you can do fancy things like load a program off disk into memory and execute it, or load a program from a network device using any programmable protocol and run it. This only works because the OS treats the code text as data temporarily to load it off storage (local or otherwise) and then into memory. (After all, loading a program into memory consists of reading the executable off disk like you'd read a regular data file into memory, then you'd need to runt hat code). Heck, modern paging systems in an OS rely on it - reloading a memory page from disk doesn't care if it's code or data - the OS just sets up a new memory page to hold the contents, finds the location on disk, and tells the disk driver to populate that memory with data, and on completion, re-executes the failed instruction (or performs the pre-fetch)

Harvard architecture machines need to have a way to load their program information and pre-load data into memory, which is why traditionally they only run fixed program code (like DSP). Or have a von Neumann machine load the code into instruction RAM. (They're great for streaming and signals where the code doesn't change, but you're constantly passing data through the system)

5 days ago

Free Law Casebook Project Starts With IP Coursebook

tlhIngan Re:which is fine light reading, but not a referenc (22 comments)

While I agree that NC is generally misunderstood by lay licensors, and greatly more restrictive than most people realise, ND has a valuable place in the licensing suite.
For example, if you write an opinion piece, adding the ND clause will make sure that no-one can (legitimately) alter or distort the text, and use it to misrepresent the position you hold/held.

Otherwise, using ND for non-opinion works shows a certain amount of arrogance. It's effectively proclaiming "no one but myself could possibly make this any better".

Not really. Because even the most restrictive copyright (traditional "All Rights Reserved") still has people routinely distort and misrepresent your position. It's called "creative editing" - and it can change the meaning completely.

If people want to misrepresent you, they're going to, regardless of if you use ND or full copyright. And no, just because it's on the web doesn't mean it's not under full copyright - the author can legitimately post an opinion piece completely copyrighted (see editorials) and be freely readable. It's under copyright, so no one can legitimately alter or distort the text.

Oh, but you say what about fair comment and all the other fair use rules? Guess what? They apply to CC works too because just like copyleft, it relies on copyright law to specify the minimum rights everyone has, including fair use, satire, etc. CC and other copyleft simply grant more rights than copyright would've so you can ignore the CC license just fine, you'll just be held to a more restrictive agreement.

ND doesn't solve anything. It probably makes it worse since it just means your work gets copied everywhere, whereas full copyright means your online post is the only legitimate one and people should link to that as the original source piece. Those who would just re-host it and violate copyright law will continue to do so, regardless of "All Rights Reserved" or CC.

5 days ago

VMware Unveils Workplace Suite and NVIDIA Partnership For Chromebooks

tlhIngan Re:No more "Cloud", please (60 comments)

Enough. No, I do not want "Cloud" services, thanks. I want my good old desktop with local applications that do not need be connected to the internet 24/7 to work, not everyone have a fiber connection available all the time for this.

So don't use it. Why does it have to be an either/or situation? If you need your desktop, continue using it.

This service is more for those who have a desktop only because they need to run something on it. You know, like how some people ran Windows just to play a video game. Or for one application they use infrequently but have to use.

Hell, this is practically an ideal situation for parents who basically neglect their PCs and to whom you spend every thanksgiving fixing their PC. You replace it with a chromebook (locked down web browser) and use a cloud desktop for the few things you need a desktop PC for.

It's like those who complained tablets will replace desktops, yet Jobs was far more accurate in that we'd always have desktops even in the age of "Post-PC".

about a week ago

3 Years In, a "B" For Tim Cook's Performance at Apple

tlhIngan Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (90 comments)

It would never catch on because it doesn't support what existing Micro USB connectors do, and what other manufacturers already use. For example, there is no way to do uncompressed 1080p video over it, and phones were doing that three or four years ago so are not likely to drop back now. The cost of the Apple video solution is prohibitive as well, when an MHL adapter is Ã5.

Lightning doesn't seem to support USB peripherals either. Not sure if it is an inherent limitation of the design or just that Apple don't use them, but many Android devices can make use of USB flash drives, card readers, game controllers, keyboards, mice and the like.

micro USB connectors DO NOT DO VIDEO.

MHL and SlimPort and every other standard does. No, those connectors are not compatible with each other, but they do allow you to fit a microUSB plug into them. They are not, however, micro USB. That'll be like saying Apple invents a new connector, but you can use micro USB with it. It just means the connector was made compatible, but if Apple puts in Firewire/thunderbolt/whatever, it doesn't mean micro USB inherits those properties.

USB peripherals are supported by lightning just fine. You can connect cameras, memory cards, even USB DACs to an iOS device just fine - you do need the "Camera Connection Kit" which converts your 30 pin or Lightning port to a USB host port, to which you can plug in a camera, memory card reader or flash drive, or USB audio device to. Or keyboard, if you wanted.

And it's taken long enough for USB to get to the point where you can plug it in without caring for orientation. USB micro aren't immune to this - USB micro AB ports generally are reversible because of their godawful design. And most devices should be using microAB ports instead of just microB and special adapters to make it an A port. It's just the user experience is so terrible, and it makes it incompatible with MHL and SlimPort (which only are compatible with micro B cables).

about a week ago

Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

tlhIngan Re:Won't work with new chips (78 comments)

When you sign the back of your card, you're providing a template for forgery to anyone that happens to steal or find your card. I can understand why the credit card company would want you to do this, as a convincing forgery job on a signed sales receipt shifts liability from them to the consumer. However, as a consumer, I don't understand why you'd willingly buy in to such a system.

Because signing a credit card isn't for verification. It's for agreement of the terms and conditions.

Signing the back of your card is how you indicate that you agree with the terms of your cardholder agreement, which your provider has spelled out how you pay them back, how they charge interest, what interest rate, billing, etc. If you don't sign the card and the merchant accepts it, then they have to eat the loss because you didn't agree to the terms.

Likewise, signing the chit just means you agree to pay the amount shown in line with your agreement.

It's just contracts, in the end. The card signature shows you agree to the contract between you and the credit card provider. The chit signature shows you agree to the contract to pay the amount shown. If someone else forges your signature, that's fraud and you're not responsible. Likewise, if someone uses your credit card with their signature, that too is valid since it was signed under agreement.

There's nothing special about the signature. Banks routinely loan out lots of money without even a "reference signature" to compare to, yet they're still valid.

You're just signing to show you agreed to the presented terms.

If you look closely, the chits all say "Cardholder agrees to pay the amount shown per the terms of the cardholder agreement" which is what you're REALLY agreeing to.

about a week ago

Hackers Claim PlayStation Network Take-Down

tlhIngan Re:Should of never got rid of other OS and outsorc (97 comments)

Someone who has enough skill to use the Other OS function probably has enough skill to install CFW

Actually, CFW is freakishly easy to install. It's just an offline update.

No one uses OtherOS anymore. The reason you use CFW is pirating games and all that. It always has been since the OtherOS folks, pissed at losing it, hacked the PS3 to restore it. Which ended up leaving a huge hole for everyone else to exploit, so there are more than a few ISO loaders and dumpers and all that.

Not sure about their status to play online, since I hear that Sony sends down a binary to run on them to report on the status (client-side trust), which I assume is pretty easy to fake after a few days.

Anyhow, it appears Xbox Live is back up, the best they could do was make it "intermittent". And only login was affected.

about a week ago

3 Years In, a "B" For Tim Cook's Performance at Apple

tlhIngan Employee happiness (90 comments)

A CEO that gets it.

Tim Cook realizes he's not Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is perhaps one of three people in the world who can be an asshole and yet get results done (the other two - Linus Torvalds and Theo De Raadt). Say what you want, but they're all assholes, except mysteriously, they get results.

Everyone else who've tried, failed miserably.

And I'm sure Cook realizes it too - he's no Jobs and being an asshole would destroy the company (most who try fail, hence why there's only three people in the world who could do it). He's got to be different, and if that means revamping the company from being under the thumb to how companies should be run, so be it.

Still, you do miss the odd Jobs-style flare up. I mean, Ballmer had his chairs. Cook is just a bit.. understated.

about a week ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

tlhIngan Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

It's almost like the editors wanted to publish a biased article or something. Scandalous.

Exactly. It's exactly the same thing Apple, Google and everyone else has.

Hell, in Apple's case, it's cheaper to borrow the money in the US than repatriate it. When Apple needed $17B, they took on debt against future US earnings, because it would cost them less to pay back that principle plus interest than it would if they were to bring in the money from offshore into the US (which I think would've been close to $30B to get $17B they could spend). And Apple has very rarely taken on debt intentionally.

An unintentional side effect is well, Apple, Microsoft and Google have to spend that money outside the US, so they hire developers and other people to work outside the US as well.

about two weeks ago



FCC warned not to take actions a Republican-led FCC would dislike

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about two weeks ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Municipal broadband is in the news again — this time Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has endorsed states' right to ban municipal broadband networks and warned the (Democrat-led) FCC to not do anything that a future Republican led FCC would dislike. The argument is that municipal broadband discourages private investment in broadband communications, that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment."
Link to Original Source

Amazon confirms Hachette Spat Is to "Get A Better Deal"

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 3 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Last week we heard that Amazon was withdrawing Hachette books from its virtual shelves including allowing preorders of the new JK Rowling book. Amazon has responded to these allegations, and confirms that yes, they are purposefully preventing pre-orders and lowering stock in order to get a better deal from Hachette. Amazon recommends that in the meantime, customers either buy a used or new copy from their zShops or buy from a competitor. Amazon admits there is nothing wrong with Hachette's business dealings and that they are a generally good supplier."
Link to Original Source

Glasshole Googlebombs Restaurant When Asked To Remove Glass

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 3 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Katy Kasmai loves her Google Glass. So she took great offense while dining at Feast (a restaurant in NYC) when staff members asked her to remove it citing patron privacy concerns. Her reaction? A call to arms to downvote the restaurant by leaving it nevative one-star reviews. Most were fake, few having actually visited Feast (or even living in NYC), all taking offense over other's concerns about surveillance. Of course, more violent methods of Glass removal have occurred in the past. Do over-entitled Glassholes potentially doom the future of the technology?"

Google may have more of your email than you think

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 4 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Everyone knows about GMail — Google's web-based email service. And there are a few people who refuse to use it, citing privacy amongst other reasons. However, it turns out Google may have more of your email than you think. Benjamin Mako Hill was curious and analyzed his personal email. He found out that Google handled approximately half of his personal email, despite not having a GMail account. This includes email sent to him, as well as email he sends out. While it shows how popular Google's service is, it also shows how much potential information there is for Google and others (like the NSA) could sift through."
Link to Original Source

Titanfall: No Day One DLC, Microtransactions or Season Passes

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 5 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "With big game releases come the usual trail of nickle and diming — from day one DLC, microtransactions, and season passes to get future maps. However, Respawn Entertainment, developers of Titanfall and Microsoft's heavily promoted next-gen Xbox One title (although also available two weeks later on Xbox360), has firmly stated there will be NO day one DLC, no microtransactions and no season passes. No paying a dollar for a pistol — you'll just have to fight your way through and earn it. What you get on the disc is everything — no paying for maps already included. Of course, this doesn't rule out future DLC, like additional maps, but it appears that everyone gets the same content on release day next week and no spending money to get upgrades without earning them."
Link to Original Source

Google Admits G+ Created To Mine More User Information

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 6 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "In an admission not unexpected, Google admits to using Google+ as a means to gather more user information. Linking together various Google services to help keep track of your activities across the Internet, it's seen as Google knowing more about you than Facebook (and presumably to use the majority marketshare of advertising to sell you product). Google does not fear a mass exodus, believing that the more people want to use your products, the more you can get away with."

PS4 vs. Xbox One - PS4 Users View 3 Times as Much Porn

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 7 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Well, one metric is in. If you want porn, apparently the PS4 is the machine to buy. SugarDVD, the Netflix of porn, reports 3 times as many PS4 users used its console app over the Xbox One. While it's tempting to guess that the PS4 sold 3:1 over the Xbox One, actual figures don't agree. SugarDVD CEO anticipates the numbers to change, as the Xbox One "offers a more seamless an interactive experience". One theory to the difference is the PS4 is aimed at hardcore gamers, while the Xbox One is aimed at more family pursuits."

Valve's Steam removes its first game

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 8 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Today marks the first day that Valve has removed a game completely off its service. Order of War: Challenge has been not only removed from the service, but it is the first to be removed completely from a user's library as well. Previously, when a game was removed from Steam, it was just removed — as long as a local copy exists in your library, you could always play it, back it up, reactivate it, etc, (similar to Apple's iTunes and App Store — it may be gone, but as long as a copy exists, it'll work). Now it appears that Valve has actually gone the next step alongside Amazon and Google and removed games from a library."
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A new way to monetize mobile apps - Bitcoins

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 10 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "App developers have long struggled with ways to make money from their apps — from selling them outright in the app stores to liberal use of in-app purchases and in-app advertising. The problem with in-app ads is obvious — for those on Android, it's the ridiculous amount of permissions required to support it. For those apps that use the Unity framework, Icoplay introduces a new way to make money — Bitcoins. Their Icominer plugin for Unity turns spare CPU cycles of a user's device into mining Bitcoins. It transparently works in the background and promises to not interfere with general gameplay. Unmentioned though is the impact to user's battery life and drain on system resources, especially given how iOS7 now (and Android always) supports full multitasking with background support. The plugin is still in development, and is supposed to cost around $80."
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Apple converting trial and pirated iWork, iLife and Aperture to full versions

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 10 months ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "One aspect about the new OS X Mavericks release was that all Apple produced software was to be downloadable and updatable through the Mac App Store. However, this has the obvious implication of what happens to users who bought the software before Mac App Store? Initial reports showed that the Mac App Store scanned your hard drive for the apps and offered to associate it with your Apple ID, and that the scanning even found trial and pirated versions and upgraded those to fully licensed versions. Even more interestingly, this is not a bug, and it appears Apple is turning a blind eye to the practice and giving away copies of iLife, iWork and Aperture to users who own trial or even pirated versions of the apps. Apple has also recently stopped providing downloadable trial versions of iLife, iWork and Aperture from their web site."
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Samsung Fudging Benchmarks Again on Galaxy Note 3

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "A few months ago, Samsung was caught gaming benchmarks on the Galaxy S4 (International version). They would lock the GPU at a higher-than-normal frequency when certain applications were run, including many popular Android benchmarking programs. These had the expected result of boosting the performance numbers. This time, the Galaxy Note 3 was caught doing the same thing, boosting CPU scores by 20% over the otherwise identical LG G2 (which uses the same SoC at the same clock). Samsung defends these claims by saying the other apps make use of such functionality, but Ars reversed-engineered the relevant code and discovered it applied only to benchmark applications. Even more damning was that the Note 3 was still faster than the G2 when run using "stealth" (basically renamed) versions of the benchmarking apps which did not get the boost."

Despite global release, Breaking Bad heavily pirated

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  1 year,20 days

tlhIngan (30335) writes "One reason that many people pirate TV shows is "it's not available in my country until months after it airs". Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening. Despite this, many users still decided to download it than watch it when it aired locally. Australia users we the top, perhaps because it was on FoxTel. This was followed by US and Canada (who obviously got to see it when it aired), and the UK where Netflix had it within hours of the US premier. Fifth on the list was the Netherlands, where it had aired hours before the US premier on a public channel. It's obvious that despite the global release, the show was headed to top its previous highs in number of downloads. Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?"
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Federal Judge Declares Bitcoin a Currency

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  1 year,25 days

tlhIngan (30335) writes "An East Texas federal judge has concluded that Bitcoin is a currency (can be used as money) that can be regulated under American Law. The conclusion came during the trial of Trendon Shavers, who is accused of running the Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST) as a Ponzi scheme. Shavers had argued that since the transactions were all done in Bitcoins, no money changed hands and thus the SEC has no jurisdiction. The judge found that since Bitcoins may be used to purchase goods and services, and more importantly, can be converted to conventional currencies, it is a form of currency and investors wishing to invest in the BTCST provided an investment of money, and thus the SEC may regulate such business"
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Google Play Downloads Beat Apple App Store

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "With Android devices outselling iOS ones 4-to-1 or more, it should come as no surprise that Google Play downloads exceeded Apple App Store downloads by 10% in the second quarter of 2013 for the first time since the stores were established 5 years ago. No reasons were given for why Android (which has been outselling iOS since 2010, if not earlier) took this long to overtake iOS in downloads."
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Microsoft allows indie self-publishing, debugging on retail Xbox One

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Microsoft was the last platform manufacturer to require that all games go through publishers, a much hated policy. Indeed, their approval process was one of the harshest around. But taking a page from Apple, Microsoft will allow indie developers to self publish, and allow retail Xbox One units to serve as developer consoles. Previously, self-publishing developers were relegated to the "Xbox Live Indie Arcade" section, as well as developer consoles often costing upwards of $10,000 with special requirements and NDAs. This puts Microsoft's Xbox One more in line with Apple's App Store, including Microsoft's new promise of a 14-day turnaround for approvals. Microsoft's retail debug console system is to work similarly to Apple's — that is, to run pre-release code, the individual consoles used have to be registered with Microsoft."
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Apple renews contract with Samsung over A-series processors

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "In an interesting move since Apple decided to partner with TSMC a few weeks ago, the Korea Economic Daily is reporting that Apple has re-signed a contract with Samsung to produce the A-series chips Apple uses to power its iPads, iPhones and iPods. TSMC is still to produce chips for Apple, though Samsung is poised to take over from 2015."
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DMCA Safe Harbor May Not Apply To Old Copyrighted Works

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "On Tuesday, the New York appellate court denied Grooveshark the DMCA safe harbor protection on songs like Johnny B. Goode. What happened was due to an oddity in the law, the DMCA does not apply to state-licensed copyrighted works (those copyrighted before February 15, 1972). What happened was Congress overhauled copyright law to make it a Federal matter, but all works prior to that date still come under common-law and state statutes. The end result is that Grooveshark does not have DMCA safe harbor protection for older works and may be sued for copyright infringement (barring other agreements, e.g., UMG and YouTube), even though they fully comply with the DMCA otherwise, taking down copyrighted materials. Grooveshark is a "music locker" service allowing users to upload music for others to listen to."

Apple Did Not Censor Comic - Comic Distributor Did

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "A few days ago, Slashdot reported Apple banning sale of Comic Book Apps over gay sex images. It turns out that Apple was not the one behind the move, but that Comixology was the one who declined to publish it for iOS over fears it would not be allowed by Apple. In a blog post by Comixology, they stated that they were contacted by Apple who said that the content was fine. Saga #12 should be up in the iOS comic apps shortly."

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream - Investments Banks Take Note, Offer Derivatives

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

tlhIngan (30335) writes "Bitcoin has reached a new high, where even the average Joe can now have them in their portfolio. Ars Technica reports on new forex markets, derivative offerings and investment bank holdings related to Bitcoin. Depending on your view of derivatives and their role in the financial crash, you will soon be able to trade in Bitcoin futures (and possibly options), hedge funds, and other interesting financial instruments centered on the currency. Whether or not these new investment options will stabilize or destabilize the currency even more is up in the air, but it might be an interesting take on what caused the crash of 2008. On an unrelated note, the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook idea fame) have stated they own approximately 1% of all bitcoins (approximately $11M) out there, stored on flash drives spread around the world."

The Apple Shop forced to change its name

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year and a half ago

tlhIngan writes "The Apple Shop, in Norfolk, UK is a little corner store that sells apple products. Not Apple products, but apple products, in this case, cider. However, it's been forced to change its name to the Norfolk Cider Shop. However, the name change did not come from any lawsuit from Apple (the Cupertino one, that is), nor has there been any evidence that Apple (Cupertino) knew about them. Instead, they're changing their name because their phones have been ringing constantly from people seeking help with their Apple (Cupertino) products. Apple (Cupertino) opened an Apple store in 2009 in the nearby (larger) town of Norwich."
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