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Politics

+ - First city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Charlottesville, Virginia is the first city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution. The writing of the resolution coincides with a leaked memo outlining the legal case for drone strikes on US citizens and a Federal Aviation Administration plan to allow the deployment of some 30,000 domestic drones."
Link to Original Source
Intel

+ - Intel Gigabit NIC Packet of Death->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "All it takes is a quick Google search to see that the Intel 82574L ethernet controller has had at least a few problems. Including, but not necessarily limited to, EEPROM issues, ASPM bugs, MSI-X quirks, etc. We spent several months dealing with each and every one of these. We thought we were done.

Using Ostinato I was able to craft various versions of this packet — an HTTP POST, ICMP echo-request, etc. Pretty much whatever I wanted. With a modified HTTP server configured to generate the data at byte value (based on headers, host, etc) you could easily configure an HTTP 200 response to contain the packet of death — and kill client machines behind firewalls!"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:dumb question (Score 1) 164

by FLEB (#36943424) Attached to: Radio Energy Harvested With Inkjet-Printed Antenna

I might be wrong (read: I'm talking out my ass here), but two big differences between tapping electrical-line power and tapping radio waves, in this respect, are that first, there is generally a lot more energy siphoned off the power lines, and second, the purpose of radio towers is to emit "x" amount of power with no expectation of ever seeing it again. OTOH, the power lines are being monitored on both ends, and the difference by EMF loss is compensated for by pumping more power into the system. While strictly speaking, too many of these antennas could cause a "shadow" that would block a radio signal, I can't imagine that in use they'd be placed right or be opaque enough to have an effect that required compensation.

Role Playing (Games)

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the edible-games-are-the-future dept.
destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"
Games

EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-it-on-the-torrents dept.
captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of EVE Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, 'Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded,' meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, EVE Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised 'large fleet battles' that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions."

Comment: Re:Price is the problem. (Score 1) 111

by FLEB (#30565642) Attached to: Amazon Sells More Ebooks On Christmas Than Real Books

What's more, you can't get ebooks secondhand or closeout. Forget 50% markup-- aside from programming manuals and the like (which usually only go closeout once they're obsolete), I get sticker-shock just looking at the MSRP of most paper books.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that for Kindle books (and others, I imagine), there is some extra work involved in reformatting them for ebook readers. I've heard gripes and annoyances from a friend of mine who had to beat a book into shape for Kindlization. While it might become a matter of course for a larger seller, for a smaller or less dedicated seller, it might be enough of an annoyance to justify a price hike.

Comment: Re:Fear of Being Stereotyped? Really? (Score 2, Insightful) 453

by FLEB (#30527682) Attached to: The US Economy Needs More "Cool" Nerds

Along those same lines, I'd agree with the summary (RTFA? Me? Never!) that early computer education needs to be divorced from only the dull and pointless (MS Office training) and the specialized (programming) to include a wider range of activities that use computers as a tool. Computers have advanced in usability to the point where interacting with "the computer" is overshadowed by interacting with software, websites, and people. Frame computer literacy not in terms of "computer classes", but in terms of art, writing, design, engineering, yes-- programming, and all the creative endeavors that use the computer as a tool.

Comment: Re:Fraud or stupidity (Score 1) 419

by FLEB (#29429783) Attached to: Insurance Won't Cover Smartphones, When Pricey Alternatives Exist

It does show a bit of a stupidity hole, though, where a cheaper and possibly better device to serve the purpose needed is being overlooked or denied simply because of a classification or certification. In a business that is profitable by way of its own thrift, it seems illogical that the insurer is requiring a higher-priced alternative when the client has requested a cost-saver.

Furthermore, the required pigeonholing and bureaucracy could stifle innovation. For example, if an inventor creates a helpful addition to a common device, will it be denied coverage (and wider adoption) if it's not solely marketed as a medical device?

Of course, other issues do come into play: Will others attempt to scam desirable multi-purpose devices that marginally assist with medical problems, or what happens if the device isn't up to the task, and the client comes back later wanting the real thing?

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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