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Government

Innocent Until Predicted Guilty 430

Posted by kdawson
from the no-telepaths-yet dept.
theodp writes "Gizmodo has an angry piece on IBM helping Florida to predict how delinquent your child's going to be. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has decided to start using IBM predictive analytics software to help them determine which of the 85,000 kids who enter their system each year poses the biggest future threat. From IBM's sales pitch: 'Predictive analytics gives government organizations worldwide a highly-sophisticated and intelligent source to create safer communities by identifying, predicting, responding to and preventing criminal activities. It gives the criminal justice system the ability to draw upon the wealth of data available to detect patterns, make reliable projections and then take the appropriate action in real time to combat crime and protect citizens.'"
Role Playing (Games)

+ - Wesnoth 1.2 released

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""More than one year has gone by since we released Wesnoth 1.0. As a Christmas present for you, and to thank you for more than 1,000,000 downloads via sourceforge.net, we now proudly present Wesnoth 1.2." http://www.wesnoth.org/start/1.2/"
Robotics

+ - Telefactoring - are Waldoes getting closer?

Submitted by ferd_farkle
ferd_farkle (208662) writes "Science Daily has an article about engineering advances to help steady the hands of surgeons working in really cramped spaces like eyes and throats.

From the article:
"The tools include a snakelike robot that could enable surgeons, operating in the narrow throat region, to make incisions and tie sutures with greater dexterity and precision. Another robot, the steady-hand, may curb a surgeon's natural tremor and allow the doctor to inject drugs into tiny blood vessels in the eye, dissolving clots that can damage vision.""
User Journal

Journal: [Z80] Pre-Xmas Lunch Meddlings

Journal by Alioth

So before I amble up to my Dad's for Christmas, I decided to continue to try and work out why the keypad isn't working as behaved.

Once the keypad is working, well, I have then made a real computer - input (keypad) and output (LCD).

Microsoft

+ - Vista: The "Longest Suicide Note In History

Submitted by
DiamondGeezer
DiamondGeezer writes "The Inquirer reports on Peter Gutmann's dissection of Microsoft Vista:

"Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to
provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data
from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs
considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical
support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not
only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the
protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever
come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for
example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document
analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral
damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry"

Lesson: If you want your graphics to be of the highest quality, your digital imaging to be top notch, then don't use Vista because it will degrade them in order to protect premium content and there's nothing you can do about it (other than go to OSX or Linux).

Happy New Year"
Operating Systems

+ - Linux may be ready, but Desktop might be gone

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "
Will 2007 be the year of the Free Software desktop? David Chisnall's answer is "probably not, but who cares?" Microsoft won the desktop war; can Free Software win the next one?
Apparently, if Free Software can't, none other can, as author argues in an interesting piece on Informit Friday. Chisnall argues that Desktop-ready Linux (or whichever Free/Open Source OS) poised to win over the Desktop market is not just a futile endeavor, but also "barking at wrong tree" as there is new rising trend in personal computing which demands more freedom, or else perhaps at least new kind of licensing, or new type or service.

There is also an interesting comment on Microsoft shooting itself into foot with more restrictive Vista license, preventing their users from new, emerging of computer usage modes.

However, I guess tinfoil hat wearers will keep their computer "virtual lairs" out of promiscuous (and snoopy, eh?) virtual machines and prying eyes of network storage service providers. OTOH, it is not like they are majority of computer users today, especially of business computer users, who may like to lift less weight — be free from heavy laptops and notebook computers they carry today.

Who knows, if free software conquer and dominate "outside world" (and likely it will), proprietary software will probably "retreat to forts" and get even more closed then today — running only on vendors' servers as subscription-based services and talking to thin free/open UI clients. But, will it be a good outcome? We may never get to see such programs become public, even after their copyright protection expire, as they will never reach us, never pass through our hands, not even in their binary form. Therefore, the practical significance of Free software movement will not be diminished, but on the contrary even more emphasized: they'll have to keep following and recreating functionalities of each useful proprietary program to assure that we don't fall victims to accident, malice or circumstances leading to Alexandria Library type loss of useful tools or knowledge we will get to rely upon."
Christmas Cheer

+ - Science, philosophy dangerous - Pope

Submitted by
amigoro
amigoro writes "Science and philosophy are dangerous and will destroy humanity unless they welcome faith in God, according to a seriously scary looking Pope Benedict XVI [Press Esc]. He claims that "The cognitive capacities of human beings, their control over the material world through the power of thought, has made such unimaginable progress" At least JP II apologized for what he did to Galileo, but Ben is trying to take the Church back a 500 years. In doing so he is probably trying to take the world back to the middle ages. Thank God people are losing their faiths."
Windows

+ - Vista DRM "longest suicide note in history"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "VISTA'S CONTENT PROTECTION specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history, claims a new and detailed report from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

"Peter Gutmann's report describes the pernicious DRM built into Vista and required by MS for approval of hardware and drivers," said INQ reader Brad Steffler, MD, who brought the report to our attention. "As a physician who uses PCs for image review before I perform surgery, this situation is intolerable. It is also intolerable for me as a medical school professor as I will have to switch to a MAC or a Linux PC. These draconian dicta just might kill the PC as we know it."

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_c ost.txt"

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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