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Facebook's Auto-Play Videos Chew Up Expensive Data Plans

trawg Turn off Facebook video autoplay (108 comments)

If you're logged into Facebook, this link should take you straight to the settings page where you can disable the auto-playing of videos:

https://www.facebook.com/setti...

This should work for most people - although my brother (on Mac OS X) was not able to see the 'Videos' sub-menu (which for me appears in the list on the left at the very bottom).

I only use the FB website on my mobile (the constant addition of new permissions turned me off the app), and am not sure if you can disable it within the app.

about two weeks ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

trawg Re:The real crime here (465 comments)

I don't think anyone here disagrees that what he did was wrong and he should be punished - certainly most of the comments I've seen agree with that.

I think most people just disagree with the severity of the sentence - jail time for a single instance of copyright infringement just seems completely disproportionate. Putting him in jail costs a fortune - thanks, privatised prisons - and doesn't seem to do much for rehabilitation (in many cases, doing the exact opposite).

Extensive fines, community service, etc - there are other options.

about a month ago
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How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

trawg Re:Gas station (190 comments)

And for comparison, just how long does it take to build a gas station?

A great question; I suspect it's a while.

Certainly to get rid of a gas station - at least in Australia - is a big deal. There have been a few removed from my area in the last couple of years; I was amazed that the sites sat empty for so long (premium real estate!) but then discovered that there are regulations from our EPA about how they need to be cleaned.

I think it's a minimum of one year before they can be "reclaimed" for other use. I suspect an electric charging station doesn't require that kind of overhead!

about a month ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

trawg Re:Quit COMPLAINING about Comcast and buy them out (368 comments)

But then those new shareholders might start getting a taste of the sweet sweet dividends possible when you're owning an unregulated, monopolistic company that makes ridiculous profits and change their tune.

about a month ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

trawg Vision and attention (142 comments)

My partner is a vision and attention researcher, so I've absorbed some fascinating information about how vision and attention are related.

You can be looking at something but not actually paying any attention to it. Further, your attention works differently at different depth planes - so while you might be focused on the HUD thinking that you're still aware of what's happening on the road, you almost certainly are not.

This sounds like an interesting device but - based on my partner's research and what she's said about it - it doesn't seem like it deals gracefully with issues of attention. I think there's definitely the potential for regulatory restrictions on devices like these if greater risk is demonstrated.

about a month and a half ago
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

trawg Re:Figures it would not be the US (190 comments)

I actually went to a talk last night by someone from the Ohio State University that has been working on autonomous cars for ~20 years.

He talked specifically about licensing in Nevada - they have licenses available now but only for testing purposes: http://www.dmvnv.com/autonomou...

about 2 months ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

trawg Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

Huh. That sounds like a good idea. Take a little from everyone and use it to benefit people as they need it. You might not need it now, but others will, and when it's your turn it'll be glad it's there.

Nah, probably too crazy to work.

about 2 months ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

trawg Re:We should add our own encryption??? (176 comments)

You realise dropbox is free, right? Why should they do something expensive like offer encryption on a service that is (a) free, and (b) for sharing files. Sharing's hard if your stuff is encrypted, and sharing is the source of most of Dropbox's value.

I'm a paying Dropbox customer.

I would love a feature that lets me client-side encrypt my files before they go to their server; one where the keys never left my machine - being aware that if I lose them, I lose all my data.

I would want the client software to be open source though and suspect that might not be in their interests.

Ultimately though I think they've made a conscious choice to not offer a feature like this not because they don't want to or because NSA, but because they see it as a support nightmare.

I tried a few of the alternatives that do client side encryption - Wuala and SpiderOak. I found them completely painful compared to the simplicity and elegance of Dropbox.

about 2 months ago
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The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

trawg Re:And what about Economic Terrorism? (242 comments)

The 1% are just playing the game that US politicians were happy to sell to them. I can't fault them for their scummy behaviour. I can't hate them for taking advantage of a system that is broken.

Your elected officials are supposed to be standing up for the citizens, not selling out their office - and their country - to the lobbyists that basically seem to control the fate.

The really sad part is everyone feels stuck in this two party system, this horrible false dichotomy that has been carefully manoeuvred by interest groups to accomplish basically nothing - except preserving the status quo. Well, and sending it on this downward spiral into a scary police state.

I wish I could contribute to Lessig's Mayday campaign, because it is one of the few genuine attempts at reform, but I'm not a citizen or permanent resident (though I currently live in the US). I volunteered some time to help their technical team and wish I could do more.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Names Building For Neil Armstrong

trawg Armstrong was a cool dude (52 comments)

His biography First Man is a great read. Armstrong seemed like a classic "Right Stuff" guy; I'm sure the book paints him in a positive light but after reading it I couldn't think of anyone else I would want to be the first person to set foot on the moon in the name of humanity.

I think a better tribute from NASA would be to get us back to the moon. Maybe they could name the first permanent settlement there after him?

about 2 months ago
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Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

trawg Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (45 comments)

I would say you are 100% correct - in the Android ecosystem. I am exactly the same; I have a relatively new Nexus 4 and before that I had a Nexus One that I used until it was basically a painful experience because it just kept running out of space.

The N5 is basically the same phone and there's not a lot the Samsungs offer that interest me.

But Apple has a different model - they don't have thousands of different options. It's just one new model every couple years. They have a prestige associated with the iPhone that has almost /nothing/ to do with what the phone can actually do - it's just about having the new phone.

Most of the people I know who live in the iPhone world are largely non-technical types. With few exceptions they all want to be on the latest version - baffling to me as someone that actually looks at features.

Maybe this will taper off but so far I think Apple are just killing it.

about 2 months ago
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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

trawg Re:Praise the Courts (532 comments)

Isn't that what NY's argument was here? Let's agree to do something to reduce the health care burden by "working together" to reduce the impact of gigantic sugary drinks?

Attempting to limit the problem of unplanned pregnancies by increased focus on planned parenthood is an awesome idea. I'm just not sure how different it is, conceptually, to trying to limit the problem of obesity/mass sugar intake/etc by limiting the size of sugary soft drinks - which I think is a stupid idea. Just not sure how I can reconcile those feelings.

about 3 months ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

trawg Re:Nice looking bike... (345 comments)

Incorrect. "Loud pipes" are compensation for a small penis.

FWIW, I have several friends that ride bikes. None of them are the sort of people that I would classify as the type that would do something just out of some sort of inferiority complex.

They uniformly tell me that they see loud pipes as a critical safety measure to make drivers aware that they're there.

I do not know if drivers in general (i.e., around the world) are uniformly bad at paying enough attention to notice riders (of bicycles or motorbikes), but certainly here (Brisbane, Australia) people seem to be pretty woeful at their situational awareness when driving.

For me, that is enough to keep me off the road on a bike. I don't even like driving much (my car was new in ~2004 and now has ~38,000km on it).

One of my motorobike riding friends was recently hit by a clueless driver while on a bicycle.

tldr: enough drivers are so bad at being aware of what is aorund them that loud pipes help make riders safer (... or at least, feel safer. I don't know if there is data showing that they are).

about 3 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

trawg Re:WOW (142 comments)

What that guy probably means is that he bought a policy on the Obamacare exchange, and his doctor wouldn't see him because he doesn't accept that policy.

But that can happen anyway, right? Presumably doctors change what insurance they accept at certain times depending on what market conditions exist and how they go with the various insurance companies they have to deal with?

about 4 months ago
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The Brakes That Stop a 1,000 MPH Bloodhound SSC

trawg Re:not a car (262 comments)

That actually makes me wonder if that would be a more efficient way of making it stop. Instead of trying to brake, deploy some surfaces that give lift and just point straight up, pop some parachutes and deploy some landing bags.

I'm sure trying to make it aerodynamic enough to do that would just be massively complicating the whole design to the point that it is worthless, but it'd be a fun way to stop.

about 4 months ago
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Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

trawg Uh, no. They are the Apple of cars. (362 comments)

This is dumb. They have made the a car that is a tech status symbol like nothing else. Ferraris are unaffordable to all but the super rich, but a Tesla ticks off so many boxes it's not even funny:

- super cool? tick
- eco-friendly? tick
- high tech? tick
- way more expensive than average? tick
- genuinely, actually not a piece of shit? tick

I can't justify buying one at the moment (Australian living in the USA temporarily) but every time I see one here I am struck with lust, and I don't even give a shit about cars. I just /want/ one.

about 4 months ago
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New Tech Super PACs Could Tap Into Google Riches

trawg The best way (52 comments)

The best way to use these committees would be to have them shut down the stupid situation that allows them to exist in the first place.

Like Lessig is doing with Mayday PAC.

about 4 months ago
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Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

trawg Re:two problems... (664 comments)

How is this not a thing with a reality TV show already?!?

about 5 months ago
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Red Hat Acquires InkTank, Ceph Maintainers

trawg Re:How do you back up Ceph? (18 comments)

Great stuff. This news seems great and look forward to seeing where it goes, particularly around the open sourcing of some new tools.

We've just launched a new virtual server hosting service in .au which uses Ceph for the storage system (blatant plug: https://binarylane.com.au/ coming to the US soon!) We chose it after a lot of evaluation of various other systems and so far it seems to be performing really well.

The stuff on the roadmap you mentioned sounds awesome as well.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Michael Abrash Joins Oculus, Calls Facebook "Final Piece of the Puzzle"

trawg trawg writes  |  about 6 months ago

trawg (308495) writes "Programming legend Michael Abrash has announced that he has joined the Oculus team to work on the Rift VR headset as Chief Scientist, and will be once again working with John Carmack to bring VR to life. His post covers a lot of ground, including the history of his quest for VR, and ends with his explanation of why he thinks the Facebook acquisition is ultimately a good thing — they have the engineering, resources and long-term commitment "to solve the hard problems of VR"."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Acquires Oculus for $2b

trawg trawg writes  |  about 6 months ago

trawg (308495) writes "Facebook have just announced that they're acquiring VR headset maker Oculus for $2b. Oculus have made an announcement explaining that the two companies are "culturally aligned with a focus on innovating". They go on to say "we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step"."
Link to Original Source
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New Unreal Engine 4 Pricing Offers Full Source Code

trawg trawg writes  |  about 6 months ago

trawg (308495) writes "At GDC in San Francisco today, Epic's Tim Sweeney announced a bold new model for the Unreal Engine, their powerful game development environment. The new approach allows everyone from indie developers to large studies to get full access to every part of their toolkit for $19 a month — including the full source code of the engine which will be made available on GitHub — with a 5% royalty on revenue. While it's not being released under an open source license — it will be available under an "Unreal Engine 4 license" — this change gives game developers a strong incentive to consider the switch."
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Microsoft IllumiRoom Too Expensive for Homes

trawg trawg writes  |  1 year,17 days

trawg (308495) writes "Microsoft's recent IllumiRoom concept video showcased what the future could be like if you combined an Xbox One, Kinect and a projector system, promising a new type of gaming experience. Unfortunately, speaking at an Xbox One press demo at Gamescom recently in Germany, the head of product planning for Xbox One Albert Penello revealed that IllumiRoom probably won't be made available as a consumer product:

"I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that,” Penello said. “It’s very, very cool tech but it’s, like, for a consumer, it requires projectors and things. It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but... we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars."

"

Link to Original Source
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New Study Fails to Show that Violent Video Games Diminishes Prosocial Behaviour

trawg trawg writes  |  about a year ago

trawg (308495) writes "A new Australian study on the effect of violent video games on Australia has just been published, failing to find any evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behaviour. The study compared groups who played different types of games, including notably violent titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, as well as non-violent titles like Portal, comparing their behavioral response through a simple pen-drop experiment. In a follow-up interview, the researcher noted his perspective on how violence might affect people has changed since he started the research:

I’ve played video games for most of my life and got into this research because I couldn’t believe that violent video games could make me do something I didn’t want to do, that is, be aggressive. My attitude has changed somewhat. These days I find it totally plausible that violent video games could influence people’s behavior, but the real question is whether their influence is harmful, and I’m not yet convinced of that.

"

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Dealing with the "Australia Tax" on Video Games

trawg trawg writes  |  about 2 years ago

trawg writes "In the throes of another holiday shopping season, with the year's top video game launches still setting records above all other entertainment mediums, gamers down under are still paying more than anyone else in the world, with many publishers adding an "Australia tax" to their latest tiles. We take a look at the factors and forces responsible for the disparity in retail prices for games in Australia relative to other developed nations, and as a solution suggest that consumers should support developers and publishers that don't discriminate, and import, and circumvent the products of those that do."
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Valve Removes Right for Class Action Claims from EULA

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "Valve have joined the list of companies that have altered their terms and conditions to prevent users from filing a class action suit. Their official statement says that such claims "impose unnecessary expense and delay" and are "designed to benefit the class action lawyers". A new arbitration process is also included, in which Valve will reimburse costs (under certain circumstances) when dispute resolution can't be solved through their normal support process."
Link to Original Source
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Blizzard: Diablo 3 on Linux Possible, But Demand Must Be There

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "As the release draws closer, Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson from Blizzard has been working hard to keep the community updated. On a press trip to Australia last week, Jay answered a wide range of questions in this video interview (transcript provided) on topics such as PvP, patch releases, game difficulty, and the potential for D1 or D2 being re-released in HD form. He also touches on the subject of a Linux release of the game: '... I don’t think that it would be outrageous, but I think that we’d have to see that there’d be a demand for it. And then we’d have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do.' So it sounds unlikely in the short term, but there's a glimmer of hope for the future."
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Blizzard's Jay Wilson on Diablo 3

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "As the Diablo 3 release draws closer, game director Jay Wilson from Blizzard has been working hard to ensure the community knows as much about the game as possible. In this video interview (transcript provided) Jay answers a wide range of questions on topics such as PvP, patch releases, game difficulty, the potential for D1 or D2 being re-released in HD form and whether or not he knew the release date of Torchlight II — he even touches on the subject of a Linux release: "... I don’t think that it would be outrageous, but I think that we’d have to see that there’d be a demand for it. And then we’d have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do.""
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Appeal Against Australian ISP in Copyright Case Dismissed

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "The Australian High Court has just dismissed an appeal by Australian and American media companies against ISP iiNet, in what will hopefully be the final step in an ongoing copyright lawsuit drama. The Court noted that "iiNet had no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system to infringe copyright". Ultimately, the court has held that iiNet's inactivity to act on infringement notices implied any sort of authorization of that infringement by their customers. Good news for Australians as a clear line has been drawn that will help ensure ISPs don't have to bear the cost of policing their customers."
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New BitTorrent Share App Offers More Private File

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "BitTorrent, Inc have released a new application called "Share" (Windows only for now) offering simple, free, unlimited file sharing which is "private and secure". File shares are done only with individual users or groups of users that you select, all apparently built on the famous BitTorrent file sharing technology. Having a poke around I was surprised to discover that it also seems to store files that you upload on Amazon's Web Services, simplifying the process further by allowing you to send a file even if the other party isn't online at the same time. It's not clear exactly how private the network is but hopefully we'll see further investigation into that aspect soon."
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First Trailer for Max Payne 3 Released

trawg trawg writes  |  about 3 years ago

trawg writes "The first video footage from Rockstar's upcoming Max Payne 3 has landed, setting the scene for the next iteration in the popular series of games set featuring this gritty action hero. Gamers may remember Max Payne for its impressive visuals and use of slow motion in action scenes, and Max Payne 3 looks like it will be continuing the tradition. It's currently set for release in March 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3."
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'Unlimited Detail' Engine CEO Responds to Critics

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "Euclideon CEO Bruce Robert Dell has responded to the initial round of questions following the unveiling of their Unlimited Detail games engine, boldly calling John Carmack "incorrect" in his prediction that such technology would still be a few years away. There's also a separate response to the direct claim made by Minecraft developer Notch that it is pure "snake oil"."
Link to Original Source
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Making Graphics in Games "100,000 Times Better"?

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "A small Australian software company — backed by almost AUD$2 million in government assistance — is claiming they've developed a new technology which is "100,000 times better" for computer game graphics. It's not clear what exactly is getting multiplied, but they apparently "make everything out of tiny little atoms instead of flat panels". They've posted a video to YouTube which shows their new tech, which is apparently running at 20 FPS in software. It's (very) light on the technical details, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but they say an SDK is due in a few months — so stay tuned for more."
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Blizzard Reveal the Diablo 3 Auction House

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "At a special event at Blizzard HQ in California, gaming press were treated to the first look at the Diablo 3 auction house — featuring real-world money transactions across different regions allowing you to buy and sell items with real money. There'll be a listing fee and a sales fee for auctions, and while they're not talking dollar numbers just yet, Blizzard assure gamers that they're not looking to pinch pennies."
Link to Original Source
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Heroes of Newerth Goes Free to Play

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes ""Another big gaming title has gone free to play today with the news of the popular Heroes of Newerth (a DOTA-esque multiplayer strategy game available for Windows, Mac and Linux) joining the ranks. They've posted an extensive FAQ covering what this means for existing and new players.""
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Heroes of Newerth Goes Free to Play

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "Another big gaming title has gone free to play today with the news of the popular Heroes of Newerth (a DOTA-esque multiplayer strategy game available for Windows, Mac and Linux) joining the ranks. They've posted an extensive FAQ covering what this means for existing and new players."
Link to Original Source
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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Details Released

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "Blizzard have lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm at a recent media event held at Blizzard HQ in California this week where press were treated to a hands-on preview of the game. Gamers can expect 20 new single player missions with Kerrigan as a playable hero, and while they're tight-lipped about multiplayer they have confirmed in a FAQ that there will be new units and maps."
Link to Original Source
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Draft Australian R18+ Guidelines Released

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "The debate around the lack of a classification for adult games in Australia continues to rage, but the latest developments offer some glimmer of hope for gamers with the release of the draft classification guidelines ahead of a meeting scheduled in July on the topic. The draft guidelines include an R18+ rating, which has been long sought-after by Australian gamers, which seems like a win, but there still is a lot of room for subjective interpretation as the guidelines for games that will be "Refused Classification" are still quite broad."
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Duke Nukem Forever Has Gone Gold

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

trawg writes "We're getting closer to the day many of us thought would never come — the release of Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox and 2K have announced today that the game has finally gone gold, the last major public milestone in game development before the official release. Due June 10 internationally and June 14th in the USA, everyone is curious — will it live up to the last decade's worth of discussion, speculation, and hype?"
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