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Comments

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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

tlhIngan Re:Dear Canada.... (461 comments)

I think today's the day Harper is about to ram his CSIS spying power bill through Parliament, as well. You know, the one that's increasing the ability of CSIS to spy domestically.

Even though the two soldiers who were run over were already well known. They already have the power being enacted (the ability to keep sources secret - a power they've actually never invoked, either),

Heck, one could argue it's to justify it all...

11 hours ago
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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

tlhIngan Re:backup for 911 (107 comments)

It actually is as part of 911-NG (next generation) which is meant to better handle next-generation telephony systems as well. Right now cellphones and VoIP 911 is more of a hack than anything in the current system, while the next-gen system switches to a completely VoIP (over a private network) system with failover and tagging and all that.

So the next-gen system will allow 911 to be contacted in many ways, including texts and SMS, VoIP (both private and internet), POTS, cellphones and all sorts of other mechanisms. And support for metadata is better, so GPS location information is available to everything (right now positional information is a hack for cellphones and non-existent for VoIP which often relies on just sending the subscriber's address info).

And load balancing as well - a center can go down and its calls get switched transparently to another center to take the excess with all the information the local center had being displayed as well (it's metadata is forwarded with the call).

Of course, it's supposed to only be deployed in a few year's time because it's a massive overhaul - it's going from circuit switched (POTS primary) to a packet switched (POTS secondary, but compatible) network and all that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

11 hours ago
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Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks

tlhIngan Re:PowerPoint on a Server? (106 comments)

Really? Who installs PowerPoint on the server? Cause you are gonna be all like, hold up let me unrack this server and connect a projector to it...right.

If your process involves generating Office, documents, it's generally the easiest way. The server automation tools for generation of Office documents are basically scripts and wrappers around.... Office. So if you want to generate some report that spits out an Excel file at the end, you can bet it was generated in Excel the first time around because the reporting tool actually called Excel to fill in the fields.

This can also apply to tools that email documents to users in the specified format - especially if it's to watermark a presentation or something.

12 hours ago
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Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

tlhIngan Re:It would be interesting (113 comments)

It would be fairly fast, but the graphics part was a bit overstated. The Alto didn't support overlapping windows (Wozniak, who did the overlapping windows implementation on MacOS, later found that out after he did (and patented) regions (and after his plane accident).).

Given the Alto was the inspiration for MacOS (and Apple did license the idea from Xerox by giving them stock), I wonder how many other things we thought the Alto had, but it really lacked.

12 hours ago
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The Future of Stamps

tlhIngan Re:Shipping companies.... (123 comments)

2) Easier to use for one off jobs, where you have one letter. 3) They envision ending/greatly reducing the physical stamp program. This will piss off the collectors a lot.

The reason for the stamp is because the post office cannot control entry points into the system - i.e., they have "mailboxes" to which users of the system can deposit pre-paid mail. The stamp is the pre-paid part of it.

To do so with FedEx or UPS, you either have equipment to generate the labels for you where you pay for it when you make the labels and the package enters their system (similar to how the post office sells franking machines to do the same thing). Or you go to a store and they take the money right there (like a post office).

The stamp is only there because of mailboxes which can currently not check to see if a valid fee is paid.

Considering if the post office wants to do this for one-offs, it's probably easier to just have them sell a barcoded printed stamp you affix and they can scan to determine if it's still valid or if it's been used. They can do this online and the user just prints out the barcode.

So what exactly does this do again? Other than cost more money to do?

12 hours ago
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The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video)

tlhIngan Re:Why not just swim? (44 comments)

With all the extra mass of the ship, is this really more efficient than just strapping on some flippers?

At this stage it just looks like a special-interest art project, or a sculpture you can sit in. Video of it being used in more than 1 metre of water would make this more interesting.

Wet subs aren't new, and they can be far more efficient because the shape can be much more hydrodynamic than the human body, thus eliminating excess energy expenditure. They can also be used to haul more tanks around, or rearrange your tank to be more streamlined.

Wet subs ain't new, even human powered ones. They've come in all configurations as well - from ones where the diver is just sitting out to ones with canopies. Usually they're for really small torpedo subs, but there are wet subs used by the military that are meant to carry 3-4 SEALs.

yesterday
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Samsung Acknowledges and Fixes Bug On 840 EVO SSDs

tlhIngan Re:Wonder what brand is best now... Intel? (99 comments)

I'd rather go with stable than EXTREME, so I go with Intel. It might not be the fastest around, but we rarely hear about Intel SSD problems.

For SATA SSDs, there's no more extreme. All modern SSDs saturate a SATA-3 bus. If you wonder why they all benchmark at 540MB/sec reads and writes, that's why - SATA is the bottleneck, not the SSD.

PCIe SSDs are where the "extreme" ones go, and even the most conservative ones are pretty damn fast - the old MacBook Air's SSD clocks in at 750MB/sec read and write. I think the newer ones can hit 1GB/'sec now easy.

As for what to buy, well, Samsung, Intel and Toshiba are the general safe bets. Even with this bug, Samsung is still stable, just slow.

Intel's got a history of failure as well, but they seem to have gotten beyond it, and while they're not stunners, they generally are solid.

Toshiba's on the slower end of the scale, but Apple uses them, so they can't be TOO bad.

And yes, I say Apple, but you can see what Dell uses as well. The big OEMs that ship lots of units will generally pick ones that give the least warranty and support issues and thus are more conservative. Plus, recalls are expensive.

If you want to follow someone - pick Apple. Given the way news coverage is, if there's a problem with someone somewhere and their SSD in their Apple product, the whole world would know in a nanosecond. Someone as heavily scrutitinized as Apple (where even one failure in millions of computers sold would probably bring about SSD-gate) means if there is a real problem, you'd already know.

yesterday
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

tlhIngan Re:All the movies had women in business (712 comments)

Instead, I spend plenty of time in meetings, coordinating with fellow programmers, working through issues like their code sucks (and for some reason I can't figure out, they think my code sucks), strange emotional attachments they feel towards Visual Studio (even though it costs over $10000 for the full version). And that's only fellow programmers......figuring out what customers, management, vendors all want is another issue (and it's important).

You obviously are in a "software engineering" position, when you really want a "code monkey" position where you're just handed the task, you code it up and submit it.

Just get yourself demoted, you'll have to take a pay cut, but them's the breaks - once you start rising in rank, your need to interact with others increases. Why? So those below you don't!

And if you're in such a fortunate position, you have to realize that coding is one seriously annoying part of the job. Yes, I do all the meetings and all that, and I give most of the coding jobs to others underneath me. It's called delegating.

Hell, try it sometime - once you learn to delegate and trust people, you can do what I like - assign the crummy tasks you don't want to do to someone else :).

And yes, it's also meant I've had to give up many interesting tasks as well - all in the name of efficiency. I don't want to be the bottleneck, so I have to know to give up those tasks too.

Yes, I said coding was getting annoying - because the more fun part of the job ends up being the problem solving part. Seeing the problem, devising a solution that's not only implementable, but also minimizing risk, and then decomposing the solution into tasks that can be mapped to the appropriate programmer with the appropriate skill.

Heck, I even try to minimize the amount of code I have to write.

yesterday
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

tlhIngan Re:Sounding another death knell for cable companie (126 comments)

I don't mind analytics in general, but don't assume that they will help rescue your favorite show by proving that there is a big following. Managers will just slice and dice the analytics until it "proves" that the show doesn't have a big enough viewership to continue.

Even worse, it doesn't matter if 10,000,000 watch a show.

The Neilson numbers come in several forms. The ones you see daily are called "Live and Same Day" (L+SD), which counts views that watched the show live and within 24 hours of airing. Other numbers you can easily find are Live+3 days (L+3) and Live+7 (L+7).

But none of those numbers are actually used by anyone. That's why Neilson gives them out for free. No one's paying for that information, nor will they ever. And that's not where they make their money.

The real money is in the C3 number, or if you're CBS, you convinced advertisers to take C7 numbers. What are these? They're commercial ratings (for programming watched live to 3 days later). Basically you take the L3/L7 numbers, strip out the numbers while the program is showing, and you're left with just the numbers related to the advertising. And that's the number that makes Neilson money and the number stations pay money for. And yes, you skip ads on your DVR, which pull down those C3 numbers because it lowers the viewers for the advertising.

And that's because the largest source of income is advertising. Sure they get some through cable fees and Hulu and iTunes/Amazon/DVD etc. sales, but that's a tiny fraction of advertising.

CBS managed this season to convince advertisers to pay the C7 rate rather than C3, because well, it more accurately reflects today's lifestyle of people who record a show and watch it later in the week.

And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if you can find 100,000,000 people to watch a show - if it's not reflected in those 100,000,000 people watching the ads.

It also brings up cord cutters who prefer to download their TV programming from torrents and such - as far as the industry is concerned, they don't care because those people don't add to advertising ratings.

Even under the new system - the new system just means that Neilson can more accurately measure their ratings, but if you're not watching the ads, it means jack squat to the producers.

So that super popular show people pirate? Guess what, the TV industry really doesn't care - you never were a "customer" and it doesn't matter if only 1M people watched it on TV while 100M people watched it off torrents - if those 1M people can't justify the ad rates and production costs, it's getting canned. The 100M other people? Too f'in bad - if it was that good, they should've watched it with ads.

If you ever wondered why worrying over TV piracy has subsided, that's one reason (who cares about pirates - they obviously don't care about their TV show), the other is they've found legal streaming to be even better. Because if they put a stream online to watch programming, they can make it such that you can't skip ads, and that's actually worth something - enough to pay for the effort of putting an online stream up. So you beat both DVR owners and appear as a hero for making a legal source available.

Bonus material - 2014-2015 TV season ad rates (30 second spot). This is what brings in the money.
http://variety.com/2014/tv/new...

yesterday
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

tlhIngan Re:Be competent? (119 comments)

How about building your tech stack so that it can be scaled up/down on-demand? I'm using Rackspace and we have dedicated servers along with cloud servers. I can add or remove cloud servers as needed and also have the load balancers updated.

If you're just doing reads against a database, it's straightforward to add additional replicas (we use MongoDB with replica sets, don't have enough data for sharding yet). If you need to do any processing, then you should build a grid compute system where you can just add additional compute nodes. We're using RabbitMQ along with Celery. Granted, this strategy ignores issues like a saturated network, but our provider is responsible for dealing with that.

So they need to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a situation that crops up ... virtually never? And you want to talk about "government waste"?

I mean, vehicle recalls are rare. Other than GM recalling a new line of cars every day this year it seems,

I mean yeah, they COULD spend their time and effort making a system that scales from a majority of 0 people looking for their car recall information to 5M people looking in a single day, wasting millions of dollars in service fees and development costs for something that "might happen".

Perhaps the government isn't wasting as much money as we thought if we use it so its infrastructure can scale up in the rare-to-never case that it needs to, right?

(Yes, the government wastes a bunch of money. But to then suggest it waste more?)

yesterday
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Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

tlhIngan Re:Windows Phone Store payment (112 comments)

Google (like Apple), wants your credit card info for the play store

You can have an account without a credit card on both.

It's just a bit tricky, and it relies on the fact that if you try to make an account through "the front door" then yes, you need a credit card or other payment option.

But if you go through the "back door" it works just fine.

For iOS, what you do is you try to buy a FREE app. This will ask you to create an account, and will not ask for payment details (because the app is free). And now you have an account without an attached credit card.

Android is the same - just buy a free app.

yesterday
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Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

tlhIngan Re:So you have to install an app... (112 comments)

Not really. You cannot launch an app that's not signed in iOS to run on that specifically device, thereby all this process just wouldn't work in iOS for instance.

It also wouldn't work in OSX unless you deactivated the permissions to run only Mac Store apps (which many of the people do though).

OS X's default permission for GateKeeper is Mac App Store and Developer Signed Apps. It has never been Mac App Store only. The other option is well, "off" (any source).

And it'll always remain that way because people do buy apps elsewhere (there are categories of apps the MAS will not have, such as demos, drivers, utilities (that cannot be sandboxed), etc.)

So if your payload was signed, then yes, it'll run on OS X just fine. Though if it's particularly virulent, Apple will probably revoke the signing certificate, thus making the payload non-executable by default.

Though there is also another nuance to it - GateKeeper only works from untrusted sources - if you compile an application from source code, even though it's unsigned, it actually will NOT pop up a warning because it came from a trusted source (the compiler). Ditto apps installed from optical media. The untrusted source here would be the Internet.

So yeah, the trick will work on OS X. Though to be honest, it seems like a rather roundabout way to do things when the user will just double-click the file anyways.

The trick appears more like those videos and crap that try to get you to install "codec packs" which don't do anything other than install malware on your machine.

yesterday
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

tlhIngan Re:In Japan (318 comments)

For example, if a gaijin resident is caught with light marijuana -> Jail time or deportation.

That's relatively minor compared to other countries in Asia, where importation of drugs is smuggling, and smugglers get the death penalty. No if, ands or buts. They find drugs on you, you're dead within the week. If you're lucky, the newspaper articles will read "Drug smuggler arrested and sentenced to death".

Oh yeah, and some of those countries neighbour unofficial drug producing countries as well.

Others are well, if you use a gun in commission of a crime, even if it wasn't fired, increases the penalties to 5 years in jail, if someone was killed, death penalty.

Oh yeah, it wasn't some Podunk backwoods country either - it was a modern metropolis.

yesterday
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

tlhIngan Re:Who cares about performance? (104 comments)

It took two decades for the personal computer to reach a point where the average rig performance was "good enough" for everyone but gamers, it took 7 years for the same thing to happen to smartphones. Which is good for the users, not so much for the big companies.

The big companies are probably going to jump to the next bandwagon soon, what remains to be seen is what that will be. VR headsets, AR headsets, smartwatches or something completely different.

You do realize the war on "retina" has gotten to the silly point of basically needing a powerful processor just to present a decent UI. Because pushing 500dpi's worth of pixels (that unless you're an eagle eye or hold the phone to your nose, you won't notice. And no, those people are the exception) consumes a whole lot of power for the display and processors behind it.

They've chased spec sheets the whole time. First with was CPU+RAM. Then it was screen size. Then it was DPI and screen resolution.

Hell, iOS's reachability is a hack (it works like one too, but it DOES work). Perhaps that's something Google should concentrate on - implementing something similar so single-handed use of a big screen is possible.

Heck, it's probably going to be peripherals and all sorts of other crap. I expect the RAM wars to re-start the moment 64-bit SoCs become propular. 4GB, 8GB, 16GB of RAM (the same as internal storage!).(The main reason to go AArch64? Speed. ARMv8 in AArch64 mode is MUCH faster than ARMv8 in AArch32 mode).

yesterday
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Barometers In iPhones Mean More Crowdsourcing In Weather Forecasts

tlhIngan Re:What for? (79 comments)

Because pressure can give information on what altitude you are at which enables GPS to find your position faster and more accurately.

Provided it's calibrated to the proper atmospheric pressure where you are. Simple weather changes can easily shift your altitude 100 feet either way making it no more reliable than a GPS fix. Granted, if you can obtain the local sea level pressure where you are, you can beat GPS quite handily. But if you can't, you're pretty much guessing your altitude.

2 days ago
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IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division

tlhIngan Re:Bigger fuckup than John Akers (84 comments)

This isn't a software division, it's not even like their server hardware division, it's chipmaking. It's kind of a go-big-or-go-home game where your competitors -- well-funded types like, say, Intel -- can easily pour many billions of dollars into next-generation fabrication processes and equipment which will readily put any half-assed investment to shame. I don't think IBM's chip business has the customer base to make "go big" profitable, or any reasonable plan to acquire new customers, so "go home" makes a lot of sense here.

No, the big reason why is that their big customers are leaving.

IBM supplied chips for the Wii, PS3 and Xbox360. With those consoles being last-gen nowadays, IBM's chipmaking fab is dead.

Apple dumped IBM when IBM couldn't produce enough chips that Apple wanted (it's why AMD will remain a non-starter - Apple's been screwed twice by chipmakers who just could not make what they said they could make - Motorola (twice - 68K and PowerPC) and IBM. Intel's pretty much the only one that has spare capacity. Even Samsung had to build a new fab just for Apple (for their SoCs - who knows about stuff like flash chips and such which Apple buys a ton of).

IBM would've had to spinoff the fabs then, but right around the transition, well, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all stormed in IBM's door. Both the PPUs and Xenon cores are stripped down G5s and initial availability was limited because IBM couldn't make the chips fast enough. It's why there are 3 cores on the Xenon.

But now that everyone's gone AMD, well...

2 days ago
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

tlhIngan Re:That's absurd, aim your hate cannon elsewhere. (312 comments)

Funny, Apple has this thing called iAd where you pay Apple to place targeted ads

And given the limited reach of iAds over say, Google's AdMob, there is no justifiable business case to use it. AdMob is cheaper, Google is far more accommodating, and you can reach Android, iOS and every other device with AdMob.

iAds is a serious joke - they had to reduce the minimum buy from $1M to $100K. It's probably only there to satisfy "competition" guidelines so Google can have AdMob. (As in, Google is probably by far the largest revenue source for iAds purely meant to keep up the appearance of competition).

No sane person uses iAds. Which explains why the ads are all either for apps (developers get a special deal), or about iAds itself.

2 days ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

tlhIngan Re: a quick search (315 comments)

Being a Commonwealth country, we still have lots and lots of WW1 issue rifles, making their use very cost effective. The only reason the Canadian Forces wants to replace it is because nobody has made parts for them in decades, so things like firing pins and trigger springs are becoming scarce.

Canada actually has a pile of them brand-new-in-box as new-old-stock. They bought a pile of them and every new ranger gets a brand new one even though they've not been made in years.

The real problem is well, that stock is diminishing and it's probably a good idea to have a replacement ready before the last one is issued.

2 days ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

tlhIngan Re:Tit for tat (328 comments)

I imagine Beats/Apple isn't too happy with Bose's shenanigans regarding telling NFL players they can't wear their Beats headphones until 90 minutes after the end of the game.

Of course the players do it anyway, and Beats apparently pays the fines for them... but still.

Incidentally, the NFL isn't doing very well with regards to their endorsement deals - first Microsoft, and now Bose.

The problem is you have a conflict of endorsements.

The NFL is being paid directly by Microsoft and Bose to promote their stuff - Microsoft and Bose can put "Official NFL Product" on those things.

The problem is, the teams and players don't really see much of that money because it goes straight into the league. Sure, they may get a few bucks in the way of stadium improvements and such, but you can bet most of that money isn't going into their paycheques.

So the players and teams often have their OWN endorsement deals. This money goes directly to the team and the players themselves. Sure some goes back to the NFL in terms of league fees and whatnot, but it's extra income for the team and player.

So what's a player to do? Be forced to wear Bose which nets them ZERO dollars in the end? Or wear their Beats which nets them millions in extra dollars in their pocket?

It's obvious why the players are defying the rule. And in fact, you have to admit, it's getting a LOT of marketing for Beats as well - I mean, they're being fined, in public, for wearing Beats. With photos. In the news. Now what is better marketing - the player wearing it on the field or a news conference, or having it plastered all over the news with closeups of the offense with news they're being fined for wearing Beats headphones (and barely a Bose mention!).

It's actually kind of brilliant marketing - Bose gets made out to be the bad guy, and Beats gets plastered all over the news section, so much so that the $10,000 fine is well worth it - marketing expense.

List of NFL Finable Offenses, with fines.

Heck, one wonders if they're going to get a bunch of stickers to stick over their Bose headphones with the iconic "b". I mean, it doesn't get more interesting than that - they wear Bose headphones, but they're sporting the "b" that clearly indicates Beats.

3 days ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

tlhIngan Re:Clueless (328 comments)

Do you hear nothing? No, you hear a background roar of muffly rumblings.

Actually, a small (but not insignificant" amount of sound comes from around the ear as well - bone conduction can transfer the lower bass notes to the ear directly (it's why you can't have perfect silence except by being in an anechoic chamber). Of course, your ears when wearing ear defenders does crank up its gain - people in anechoic chambers do report hearing blood rushing through their veins in the ears, their heartbeats, etc. All noise conducted through the body.

It can get pretty freaky.

3 days ago

Submissions

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

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 2 months 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
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Amazon confirms Hachette Spat Is to "Get A Better Deal"

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 5 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
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Glasshole Googlebombs Restaurant When Asked To Remove Glass

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 5 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?"
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Google may have more of your email than you think

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 5 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
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Titanfall: No Day One DLC, Microtransactions or Season Passes

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 8 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
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Google Admits G+ Created To Mine More User Information

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 8 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."
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PS4 vs. Xbox One - PS4 Users View 3 Times as Much Porn

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 10 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."
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Valve's Steam removes its first game

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about 10 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."
Link to Original Source
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A new way to monetize mobile apps - Bitcoins

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year 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."
Link to Original Source
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Apple converting trial and pirated iWork, iLife and Aperture to full versions

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year 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  |  1 year,21 days

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."
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Despite global release, Breaking Bad heavily pirated

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year ago

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  |  about a year ago

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 and a half 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."
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Apple Did Not Censor Comic - Comic Distributor Did

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year and a half 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."
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Bitcoin Goes Mainstream - Investments Banks Take Note, Offer Derivatives

tlhIngan tlhIngan writes  |  about a year and a half 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."

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