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Movies

Brain Cancer Claims Horror Maestro Wes Craven At 76 35

New submitter JamesA writes: Wes Craven, the famed writer-director of horror films known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream movies, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76. Though he's far less known as a novelist than for his various horror film jobs (writer, director, producer, actor ...), Craven also wrote a few books; I can't vouch for "Coming of Rage," but "Fountain Society" is pretty solid speculative fiction. Wikipedia notes that Craven also "designed the Halloween 2008 logo for Google, and was the second celebrity personality to take over the YouTube homepage on Halloween."
Privacy

German Intelligence Traded Citizen Data For NSA Surveillance Software 67

An anonymous reader sends news that Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, was so impressed with the NSA's surveillance software that they were willing to "share all data relevant to the NSA's mission" in order to get it. "The data in question is regularly part of the approved surveillance measures carried out by the BfV. In contrast, for example, to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BfV does not use a dragnet to collect huge volumes of data from the Internet. Rather, it is only allowed to monitor individual suspects in Germany -- and only after a special parliamentary commission has granted approval. ... Targeted surveillance measures are primarily intended to turn up the content of specific conversations, in the form of emails, telephone exchanges or faxes. But along the way, essentially as a side effect, the BfV also collects mass quantities of so-called metadata. Whether the collection of this data is consistent with the restrictions outlined in Germany's surveillance laws is a question that divides legal experts."
Government

Kansas Secretary of State Blocks Release of Voting Machine Tapes 283

PvtVoid writes: Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson has filed a lawsuit under Kansas' open records law to force the state to release paper tape records from voting machines, to be used as data in her research on statistical anomalies in voting patterns in the state. Clarkson, a certified quality engineer with a Ph.D. in statistics, has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere over several elections that indicate 'a statistically significant' pattern where the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct. The pattern could be voter fraud or a demographic trend that has not been picked up by extensive polling. Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued that the records sought by Clarkson are not subject to the Kansas open records act, and that their disclosure is prohibited by Kansas statute.
Input Devices

Ask Slashdot: Do You Press "6" Key With Right Or Left Hand? 240

New submitter ne0phyte73 writes: In some countries and in some touch typing books key "6" is pressed with right hand and in some others with left. It's not a big issue until you have a split keyboard. Guys at UHK are putting it on the left side. Do you agree? What hand do you use to press "6"? Left hand here, but it's not a strong preference; I'll take a keyboard that omits Caps Lock wherever they put the 6.
Encryption

Jeb Bush Comes Out Against Encryption 494

An anonymous reader writes: Presidential candidate Jeb Bush has called on tech companies to form a more "cooperative" arrangement with intelligence agencies. During a speech in South Carolina, Bush made clear his opinion on encryption: "If you create encryption, it makes it harder for the American government to do its job — while protecting civil liberties — to make sure that evildoers aren't in our midst." He also indicated he felt the recent scaling back of the Patriot Act went too far. Bush says he hasn't seen any indication the bulk collection of phone metadata violated anyone's civil liberties.

Comment Apathetic Standards Atrophying (Score 2) 36

If you ignore the ASA or tell them to fuck off, they will do bad things, like ... um ... post on their website that you have told them to fuck off.

They might also take out an advertisement on Google so someone sees a message when they do a search for your blog/business/youtube channel indicating that you've told them to fuck off.

I think people should be clear when they show sponsored products, that's about basic integrity and ethics, but the ASA can make bad decisions. They aren't a government body. You can tell them to fuck off if you want to. The worst thing they'll do in many cases is tell people that you've told them to fuck off.

Advertising

New Rules Say UK Video Bloggers Must Be Clearer About Paid Endorsements 36

AmiMoJo writes: New guidelines for video bloggers who enter marketing relationships with brands have been published. Earlier this year the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that paid endorsements for Oreo biscuits on YouTube were not marked clearly enough. The new rules outline several scenarios where content must be clearly marked as an advertisement. One note from the linked article: However, the guidelines noted that when free items are sent to vloggers without any editorial or content control over videos exerted by the brand in question, there is no need for them to follow the Cap code.
Crime

Uber Lowers Drunk Driving Arrests In San Francisco Dramatically 204

schwit1 writes: According to crime statistics from the San Francisco Police Department there were only two drunken driving arrests last New Year's Eve in San Francisco, the lowest since 2009. This news comes on the heels of a new study revealing that the introduction of UberX reduces drunk driving deaths across California. Temple University's Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal published a paper that shows cheap taxi-like options make it easier for people to make the safer decision to call for a ride rather than driving home themselves.
AMD

DirectX 12 Performance Tested In Ashes of the Singularity 96

Vigile writes: The future of graphics APIs lies in DirectX 12 and Vulkan, both built to target GPU hardware at a lower level than previously available. The advantages are better performance, better efficiency on all hardware and more control for the developer that is willing to put in the time and effort to understand the hardware in question. Until today we have only heard or seen theoretical "peak" performance claims of DX12 compared to DX11. PC Perspective just posted an article that uses a pre-beta version of Ashes of the Singularity, an upcoming RTS utilizing the Oxide Games Nitrous engine, to evaluate and compare DX12's performance claims and gains against DX11. In the story we find five different processor platforms tested with two different GPUs and two different resolutions. Results are interesting and show that DX12 levels the playing field for AMD, with its R9 390X gaining enough ground in DX12 to overcome a significant performance deficit that exists using DX11 to the GTX 980.

Comment Re:Disabling telemetry only works for 10 Enterpris (Score 5, Insightful) 316

Windows 8 was a fuck up because of the UI.

It looks like Microsoft said, with 10, let's just go deeper and fuck up the user's privacy instead.

The more I hear about 10, the less it looks like a saviour to Windows woes and the more it looks like an even bigger disaster.

Comment Re:Yawn... (Score 1) 226

On the other hand I can't believe some people actually think the US government wouldn't stoop to the level of getting someone who had a contact in the CIA to set up one of the greatest thorns in their side with a character-ruining false accusation. The US government would never do something like that!

Assange may have done what he is accused of AND the CIA may have been involved in engaging in character assasination to dicredit a particularly effective critic.

Any rational-minded observer can discount neither possibility.

Comment Re:It's Not About Porn (Score 5, Insightful) 231

The UK government, as do many others around the world, is just playing to a particular enclave of their supporters to gain political capital at the expense of others.

All this will do is kill a certain proportion of UK porn websites and enthusiasts (ahem) will look elsewhere; abroad.

That pesky international internet, eh?

Never mind, though, some dopey true-blue grannies will tell the bridge club what a good job the Tories are doing protecting their grand children. Even though they're not.

Piracy

Anti-Piracy Firm Sends Out Wave of Takedown Notices For Using the Word 'Pixels' 224

An anonymous reader writes: Columbia Pictures recently released a movie called Pixels to widespread ambivalence. As part of the movie industry's standard intellectual property defense strategy, it hired anti-piracy firm Entura International to try to police infringing downloads. The firm went at the task with vigor, hitting Vimeo with DMCA takedown notices for anything with the word "Pixels" in it. As you might expect, this disrupted a number of independent filmmakers and organizations who did nothing wrong, and in most cases picked a name for their video long before the new movie came out. Even worse, it's incumbent upon the owners of the targeted videos to prove that their content does not infringe upon Columbia's. Even if they get it restored, simply being targeted counts against them in Vimeo's eyes. And of course, Entura is unwilling to help.
Windows

Windows 10's Privacy Policy: the New Normal? 515

An anonymous reader writes: The launch of Windows 10 brought a lot of users kicking and screaming to the "connected desktop." Its benefits come with tradeoffs: "the online service providers can track which devices are making which requests, which devices are near which Wi-Fi networks, and feasibly might be able to track how devices move around. The service providers will all claim that the data is anonymized, and that no persistent tracking is performed... but it almost certainly could be." There are non-trivial privacy concerns, particularly for default settings.

According to Peter Bright, for better or worse this is the new normal for mainstream operating systems. We're going to have to either get used to it, or get used to fighting with settings to turn it all off. "The days of mainstream operating systems that don't integrate cloud services, that don't exploit machine learning and big data, that don't let developers know which features are used and what problems occur, are behind us, and they're not coming back. This may cost us some amount of privacy, but we'll tend to get something in return: software that can do more things and that works better."

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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