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Businesses

Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans 26

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-the-clouds dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that Amazon is now offering unlimited cloud storage plans to compete with Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. "Last year, Amazon gave a boost to its Prime members when it launched a free, unlimited photo storage for them on Cloud Drive. Today, the company is expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or "unlimited everything" — covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents — respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year."
Businesses

PayPal To Pay $7.7 Million For Sanctions Violations 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
jfruh writes PayPal may not be a bank, but it's still legally required to follow regulations on transferring money — but the company has admitted to a number of violations, including allowing transfers to an individual specifically sanctioned by the U.S. State Department for helping proliferate nuclear weapons. From Ars: "On Wednesday afternoon, PayPal reached a settlement with the US Treasury Department, agreeing that it would pay $7.7 million for allegedly processing payments to people in countries under sanction as well as to a man the US has listed as involved in the nuclear weapons black market. The company neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, but it voluntarily handed over its transaction data to the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)."

Comment: Re:Internet - lite (Score 1) 79

by Bob9113 (#49348529) Attached to: NY Times: "All the News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"?

make your own web page...mass email your friends...signing up for a blogging site...signing into and out of websites...locking yourself into a relationship with a company...basic internet skills that every single American should be taught in High School.

Wow. That really is a huge concept. We're trying to teach everyone to write software, which is like teaching everyone to be an engineer, but we're not teaching them the skills to be independent on the Internet, which a much higher percentage could and should have.

Very well said, and insightful. Thank you!

Comment: Re:Symmetric mouse (Score 3, Informative) 184

by Luckyo (#49346819) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

A gaming mouse should be tailored to a user's hand. That means a slanted one handed mouse. The entire point of the exercise is to get a mouse that is suitable for YOU, not "suitable for everybody".

Ambidextrous mouse is definitely not on the list of requirements for being a gaming mouse, and if anything is one of the factors that will work against said mouse when being selected as a good gaming mouse.

Full disclosure: I haven't used ambidextrous mouse in over 15 years and I will NEVER use one again now that I'm used to one handed mice. I'm also the key target audience for the sellers, and buy high cost premium mice, my current one being Logitech G700s.
I actually ended up dragging my mouse to work when I wasn't offered a proper right handed mouse there. Ambidextrous models are simply far too uncomfortable once you're used to a proper one handed mouse.

Comment: Re:is this good? (Score 1) 147

by iluvcapra (#49346695) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

The "letter-number-symbol" verifiers are the bane of my existence.

I have a really simply rule: "You may choose whatever password you wish. If your password is compromised, you will be denied further access to this system. If your job requires access to this system, you will be terminated."

Maybe that's too severe, but if the user needs a little color-coded bar-graph to tell them how good their password is, that would suggest that (1) they don't understand what a password is actually protecting or is for, and (2) the incentives aren't correctly aligned. Personally I think employees should be assigned passwords to company servers. If they have trouble remembering it print it on a key fob or something, it'd be better than them doing what they obviously are going to do: "$username.2015". If a company's password policy is know, a reasonably clever script kiddy can generate a list of 10 probable passwords per account that would probably crack a few percent of them.

And of course the execs are the worst offenders, because their incentives are completely misaligned. It transpired after the Sony hack that the co-chariman of the motion picture group, Michael Lynton, used "sonyml3" as his email password.

Those meters are stupid.

How do they actually work? Do they do any kind of entropy calculation, or check the data against known rainbow tables? Or do they just apply rules?

Comment: Re: what if NASA gets the wrong 4 meter-or-so boul (Score 1) 93

I think there's already a 2030 mission in the works to send the boulder back with flowers, chocolates, and an apology letter inscribed on a golden disc that reveals a YouTube compilation of Carl Sagan quotes if placed in a laserdisc player. (The instructions on the sleeve for constructing such a device simply say "This product has been discontinued" in a mixture of pulsar coordinates and atomic oscillations.)

Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 2) 225

by Hognoxious (#49338195) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

How on earth does increased accuracy increase the temptation to use one?

Take out NAS North Island, military target. US gets annoyed. World opinion unpredictable, depending on what led up to it. US might nuke you a bit in return. Might let you off if you say sorry and surrender immediately, pretty please, blaming rogue elements etc.

Take out San Diego, massive civilian casualties plus fallout and shit. US will be more than a bit cross. World opinion will be mostly on their side, apart from anyone stupid enough to listen to Putin. US almost certain to blow you to fuck.

Science

Scientists Create Permanently Slick Surface So Ketchup Won't Stay In Bottle 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
HughPickens.com writes Much of what we buy never makes it out of the container and is instead thrown away — up to a quarter of skin lotion, 16 percent of laundry detergent and 15 percent of condiments like mustard and ketchup. Now Kenneth Chang reports at the NYT that scientists have just solved one of life's little problems — how to get that last little bit of ketchup (or glue) out of a bottle. Using a coating that makes the inside of the bottle permanently wet and slippery, glue quickly slides to the nozzle or back down to the bottom. The technology could have major environmental payoffs by reducing waste. Superhydrophobic surfaces work similar to air hockey tables. Tiny peaks and valleys on the surface create a thin layer of air between the liquid and the coating. The air decreases friction, so the liquid almost levitates above the surface, just like the hockey puck floats above the table. LiquiGlide's approach is similar, but it uses a liquid lubricant, not a gas. "What could be a solution that provides sort of universal slipperiness?" says Dr. Varanasi. "The idea we had was, Why not think about trapping a liquid in these features?" Dr. Varanasi and Mr. Smith worked out a theory to predict interactions among the surface, the lubricant and air. Essentially, the lubricant binds more strongly to the textured surface than to the liquid, and that allows the liquid to slide on a layer of lubricant instead of being pinned against the surface, and the textured surface keeps the lubricant from slipping out. "We're not defying physics, but effectively, we are," says Smith.
The Military

How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the perfecting-the-planetcracker dept.
Lasrick writes: John Mecklin details exactly how nuclear weapons modernization is kick-starting a new arms race, and how modernizing these weapons to make them more accurate and stealthy puts the world at even greater risk of nuclear war: "[T]his is precisely why the U.S. Congress rejected the Air Force’s requests for low-yield, precision-guided nuclear weapons in the 1990s: Their very accuracy increases the temptation to use them." The issue is not getting very much attention, but the patience of the non-nuclear states is wearing thin, and a breakthrough in public awareness may be on the horizon: "The disarmament debate is likely to make this spring's NPT conference a contentious one and just might be loud enough to make the public aware that a new type of nuclear arms race is unfolding around the world."

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