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+ - Australian consumer watchdog takes Valve to court->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a government funded watchdog organisation, is taking Valve to court. The court action relates to Valve's Steam distribution service. According to ACCC allegations, Valve misled Australian consumers about their rights under Australian law by saying that customers were not entitled to refunds for games under any circumstances."
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Comment: Re:Not worth it (Score 2) 251

by MBGMorden (#47757007) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

For the most part. Crapware isn't really like Malware you get from the red-light districts of the web. Most of it is just junk installed by the OEM that goes away when uninstalled.

That's not to say it might to leave a config file or registry entry lying around afterwards, but as far as visible, executing processes, most of them respond well to just uninstalling.

Comment: Re:Already? (Score 1) 251

by MBGMorden (#47756979) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Yeah - $30 or 40 may be a bit more reasonable. Still though, computers have gotten pretty cheap these days. I paid $199 for my Windows 8.1 laptop on sale. $30-40 is still a decent chunk of the purchase price to upgrade the OS (which I'm sure when the computer was assembled the OEM was charged next to nothing for the original copy).

Comment: Re:Why (Score 2) 251

by MBGMorden (#47756853) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Because "web only" is what Google is about. It works pretty well for them honestly. Android phones and Chromebooks are selling pretty darned well.

For the most part that's what people seem to want these days. Even for the "keyboard, mouse and screen" form factor you'll likely see a shift to those type of devices. As said Chromebooks are already selling very well, but they're also introducing Chrome "desktops" - basically a chromebook that connects to external peripherals (ie, the Acer Chromebox CXI).

In less than 10 years a full computer running local apps won't be commonplace for "regular people" anymore. You'll likely see them relegated to use by content creators, programmers, and hobbyists like us.

It's kind of odd that Linux might finally succeed as the dominate desktop OS eventually - because eventually a desktop OS might not really be a viable retail product anymore.

Comment: Re:Already? (Score 1) 251

by MBGMorden (#47756787) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

I'm still wondering if the upgrade will be free for Windows 8 users or if they'll expect us to dish out another $100 to upgrade.

Don't get me wrong - WIndows 8.x has some nice features. I'm primarily a Linux user at home and only keep Windows 8 on my laptop (I use it for doing Visual Studio projects). The integration with Microsoft's cloud services is done pretty good.

HOWEVER, the UI is just insane (and I'm judging mostly from the "semi-fixed" 8.1 version - I never bothered with the original Windows 8). Metro is just not intuitive or useful. To make matters worse, system configuration seems to be split about 50/50 between Control Panel and the metro-based "PC Settings" screen (plus the registry in the background for other stuff you can't access from either of them).

It honestly feels like two dissimilar systems that they tried to rubber-band together, with the NEWER of those two systems being the aggravating one. Here's hoping that they ditch most of the bad ideas and clean it up some.

Comment: Re:What does it come with (Score 1) 215

by MBGMorden (#47707621) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

Admittedly I don't like Microsoft's "cloud" as much as Google, but with Windows 8 they're pretty much there too. Web versions of Office are available with an Outlook.com account (which is actually what gets tied to your computer login). All the save dialogs (Microsoft's at least) are linked to your OneDrive (cloud) account.

Don't get me wrong Metro and the Start Screen are steaming piles of shit, but they're actually coming around ok on the cloud storage and integration front.

Comment: Already there (Score 1) 215

by MBGMorden (#47707601) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

Tiny Chromebook-sized Windows laptops are already about there. Acer's E3 series has basically Chromebook specs (Celeron Dual-core and 2GB RAM) and a 320GB hard drive and can be had quite easily for $250. I just recently picked one up from Best Buy for $199 (may have been a sale - not sure).

I may eventually put Linux on it (I run Mint on my desktop), but for my needs something like this works great. I use my laptop maybe 10 times per year while traveling. I just need something functional with a keyboard, screen, and internet connection.

+ - The biggest iPhone security risk could be connecting one to a computer->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "Apple has done well to insulate its iOS mobile operating system from many security issues, but a forthcoming demonstration shows it's far from perfect. Next Wednesday at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Diego, researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology will show how iOS's Achilles' heel is exposed when devices are connected over USB to a computer or have Wi-Fi synching enabled. The beauty of their attack is that it doesn't rely on iOS software vulnerabilities, the customary way that hackers commandeer computers. It simply takes advantage of design issues in iOS, working around Apple's layered protections to accomplish a sinister goal."
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+ - Nonprofit to bring Sega game console chips back to life->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "Processors that powered some of Sega's famous gaming consoles in the 1990s will come back to life starting later this year. The newly formed Open Core Foundation wants to reintroduce in October older CPU designs of Hitachi chips, which were used to run operating systems and gaming consoles in the 1990s. The chips were advanced for their time and could even be used today in electronics like sensor devices and do-it-yourself projects, said Shumpei Kawasaki, a member of the OCF, at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California."
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Comment: timing - which year (Score 2) 72

by SteveWoz (#47628049) Attached to: Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

I travel a ton and stay in dozens of different hotels every year. Domestically, and in maybe 50% of the foreign cases, the high priced hotels had worse and slower internet up until a couple of years ago. For the last 2 years they have gotten better, on the average. Oh, I was in a 5-star Vegas resort last night that had horrible bandwidth. In the past, my joke was accurate that the difference between a Four Seasons (just an example) and a Super 8 is that at the Super 8 the internet worked and was free. The most important thing to me in a hotel is computer use. The fancy suites in major hotels are often set up for entertaining friends and DON'T even have a computer desk. I ask my wife to book me into Super 8's whenever possible.

The Military

The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict 402

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-got-the-best-guns dept.
Taco Cowboy writes The Israel — Hamas conflict in Gaza is not only about bombs, missiles, bullets, but also about cyberwarfare, battles of the mind over social media, smart underground tunnels and cloud-based missile launching systems. The tunnels that Hamas has dug deep beneath Gaza are embedded with high tech gadgets, courtesy of Qatar, which has funded Hamas with billions to equipped their tunnels with intelligent sensors which are networked to control centers enabling the command and control staff to quickly notify operatives nearby that IDF units are advancing inside a certain tunnel, allowing for rapid deployment of attack units and the setting up of bobby traps inside the tunnel.

In addition, Hamas has automated its rocket firing system using networked, cloud-based launching software provided by Qatar which can set off a rocket from any distance, and set them to go off at a specific time, using timers. "Anyone who thinks they have dozens of people sitting next to launchers firing rockets each time there is a barrage is mistaken," said Aviad Dadon, a senior cyber-security adviser at several Israeli government ministries. While Doha is allowing Hamas to use its technology to fight Israel, it's their own cyber-security the leaders of Qatar are worried about. For the Qataris, the war between Israel and Hamas is a proving ground to see how their investments in cyber systems have paid of — Qatar is very worried that one of its Gulf rivals — specifically Saudi Arabia — will use technology to attack it, and Qatar spends a great deal of money each year on shoring up its cyber-technology.

+ - Countries don't own their Internet domains, ICANN says->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "The Internet domain name for a country doesn't belong to that country — nor to anyone, according to ICANN. Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism want to seize the three countries' ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) as part of financial judgments against them. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the Internet, says they can't do that because ccTLDs aren't even property."
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