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Submission + - Girls 'better than boys at making computer games', study finds. 1

Esteanil writes: Researchers in the University of Sussex's Informatics department asked pupils at a secondary school to design and program their own computer game using a new visual programming language.
The young people, aged 12-13, spent eight weeks developing their own 3D role-playing games. The girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games than the boys and also learnt more about coding. The girls used seven different triggers – almost twice as many as the boys – and were much more successful at creating complex scripts with two or more parts and conditional clauses. Boys nearly always chose to trigger their scripts on when a character says something, which is the first and easiest trigger to learn.

Submission + - Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine C (torrentfreak.com)

suraj.sun writes: At a behind-closed-doors meeting facilitated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, copyright holders have handed out a list of demands to Google, Bing and Yahoo. To curb the growing piracy problem, Hollywood and the major music labels want the search engines to de-list popular filesharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, and give higher ranking to authorized sites.

If the copyright industry had their way, Google and other search engines would no longer link to sites such as The Pirate Bay and isoHunt. In a detailed proposal handed out during a meeting with Google, Yahoo and Bing, various copyright holders made their demands clear.

The document, which describes a government-overlooked “Voluntary Code of Practice” for search engines, was not intended for public consumption but the Open Rights Group obtained it through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.


Submission + - MPAA's VP admits "not comfortable" with Internet

blue_goddess writes: Looks like hell is started melting. Michael O'Leary, VP of MPAA admitted the organization is not comfortable with internet. Quoting him and the article:

The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was out-manned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."

Yes, even when he tries to say that they're trying to learn about that confounded internet thingy, he sounds ridiculous and dismissive. But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet. And that's really what SOPA and PIPA were about. Rather than trying to understand this new platform, and learn from the many entertainers who do get the internet, they did what the MPAA does and simply tried to regulate that which they don't understand and fear.

The Internet

Submission + - Last.fm User Data Was Sent to RIAA by CBS (techcrunch.com) 1

suraj.sun writes: A couple of months ago Erick Schonfeld wrote a post titled "Did Last.fm Just Hand Over User Listening Data To the RIAA? ( http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/20/did-lastfm-just-hand-over-user-listening-data-to-the-riaa/ )" based on a source that has proved to be very reliable in the past. All hell broke loose shortly thereafter.

Now we've located another source for the story, someone who's very close to Last.fm. And it turns out Last.fm was telling the truth, sorta, when they said Erick's story wasn't correct.

Last.fm didn't hand user data over to the RIAA. According to our source, it was their parent company, CBS, that did it.

Here's what we believe happened: CBS requested user data from Last.fm, including user name and IP address. CBS wanted the data to comply with a RIAA request but told Last.fm the data was going to be used for "internal use only." It was only after the data was sent to CBS that Last.fm discovered the real reason for the request. Last.fm staffers were outraged, say our sources, but the data had already been sent to the RIAA.

We believe CBS lied to us when they denied sending the data to the RIAA, and that they subsequently asked us to attribute the quote to Last.fm to make the statement defensible. Last.fm's denials were strictly speaking correct, but they ignored the underlying truth of the situation, that their parent company supplied user data to the RIAA, and that the data could possibly be used in civil and criminal actions against those users.

We believe Last.fm and CBS violated their own privacy policy ( http://www.last.fm/legal/privacy ) in the transmission of this data. We also believe CBS and Last.fm may have violated EU privacy laws, including the Data Protection Directive, and should be investigated by the appropriate authorities.

TechCrunch : http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/22/deny-this-lastfm/

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