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Comment: Re:What about the economics? (Score 2, Insightful) 244

by MeisterVT (#29668397) Attached to: How Video Games Reflect Ideology
Causing games to be more social also helps sell DLC. If your bud buys those extra maps or levels, now you are more compelled to do the same, otherwise there is no more co-op for you. It is all about being able to sell more. While religion, politics, or anything else may be tackled in games, it is not to force a point, it is to create a world/scenario that can be relevant to the player. Why? So they play it more, recommend it to friends and buy the requisite expansions. Again, all about the money.
Government

+ - FCC's Warrantless Household Searches Alarm Experts

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "You may not know it, but if you have a wireless router, a cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone in your house, the FCC claims the right to enter your home without a warrant at any time of the day or night in order to inspect it.

"Anything using RF energy — we have the right to inspect it to make sure it is not causing interference," says FCC spokesman David Fiske. That includes devices like Wi-Fi routers that use unlicensed spectrum, Fiske says.

The FCC claims it derives its warrantless search power from the Communications Act of 1934, though the constitutionality of the claim has gone untested in the courts.

But refusing the FCC admittance can carry a harsh financial penalty. In a 2007 case, a Corpus Christi, Texas, man got a visit from the FCC's direction-finders after rebroadcasting an AM radio station through a CB radio in his home. An FCC agent tracked the signal to his house and asked to see the equipment; Donald Winton refused to let him in, but did turn off the radio. Winton was later fined $7,000 for refusing entry to the officer. The fine was reduced to $225 after he proved he had little income."
The Courts

Court Orders Breathalyzer Code Opened, Reveals Mess 707

Posted by timothy
from the take-a-sober-look-at-this dept.
Death Metal writes with an excerpt from the website of defense attorney Evan Levow: "After two years of attempting to get the computer based source code for the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C, defense counsel in State v. Chun were successful in obtaining the code, and had it analyzed by Base One Technologies, Inc. By making itself a party to the litigation after the oral arguments in April, Draeger subjected itself to the Supreme Court's directive that Draeger ultimately provide the source code to the defendants' software analysis house, Base One. ... Draeger reviewed the code, as well, through its software house, SysTest Labs, which agreed with Base One, that the patchwork code that makes up the 7110 is not written well, nor is it written to any defined coding standard. SysTest said, 'The Alcotest NJ3.11 source code appears to have evolved over numerous transitions and versioning, which is responsible for cyclomatic complexity.'" Bruce Schneier comments on the same report and neatly summarizes the take-away lesson: "'You can't look at our code because we don't want you to' simply isn't good enough."
Graphics

AMD Breaks 1GHz GPU Barrier With Radeon HD 4890 144

Posted by timothy
from the sheer-necessity dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD announced today that they can lay claim to the world's first 1GHz graphics processor with their ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU. There's been no formal announcement made about what partners will be selling the 1GHz variant, but AMD does note that Asus, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, GECUBE, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Palit Multimedia, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, XFX and others are all aligning to release higher performance cards." The new card, says AMD, delivers 1.6 TeraFLOPs of compute power.

Comment: Re:april fools? (Score 2, Interesting) 273

by MeisterVT (#27517097) Attached to: Conficker Downloads Payload

In this case everyone was growing to expect just that, and would therefore be taking it seriously. Or at least people that could do something about it would. Now, since nothing much has happened people are lulled into a false sense of security and become lax or start considering the threat that something big was happening on 4/1 the real joke.

Now that the hype has supsided, what better time to strike? I think that dovetails nicely with GreggBZ's earlier post about the holiday weekend (for some of us).

Comment: yeah, resource pipelines... yeah (Score 1) 1297

by MeisterVT (#27516611) Attached to: South Park Creators Given Signed Photo of Saddam Hussein

Correction: We ostensibly invaded Iraq to ... set up a supply line for it's resources..

Whew, thanks for clearing that up for me. I guess it's a really good thing we got all those resources flowing or else oil/gas prices may have spiked, er, spiked higher, or something like that. I guess they just haven't managed to bury that super-secret Iraq-to-DC oil pipeline yet.

Security

US Electricity Grid Reportedly Penetrated By Spies 328

Posted by kdawson
from the im-in-ur-wirez-eatin-ur-lectrons dept.
phantomfive worries about a report in the Wall Street Journal ("Makes me want to move to the country and dig a well") that in recent years a number of cyber attacks against US infrastructure have been launched over the Internet: "Cyberspies have penetrated the US electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials. The spies came from China, Russia, and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the US electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven't sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war."
Idle

+ - Chimpanzees exchange meat for sex->

Submitted by
the_therapist
the_therapist writes "A team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, studied chimps in the Tai Forest reserve in Ivory Coast and discovered that chimpanzees enter into "deals" whereby they exchange meat for sex.

Among the findings are that "male chimps that are willing to share the proceeds of their hunting expeditions mate twice as often as their more selfish counterparts". They also found this to be "a long-term exchange, so males continue to share their catch with females when they are not fertile, copulating with them when they are"."

Link to Original Source
Idle

+ - Worst April Fools Ever

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "There's April Fools jokes, and then there's misrepresenting account balances to customers, allowing them to spend the money, and charging them a steep transaction fee as penalty. The Consumerist reports that online brokerage Zecco pretended to add millions to customer accounts, then panicked when people started using the money to to make real trades."

Comment: Re:Your Bank and Insurance Companies (Score 1) 550

by MeisterVT (#26946169) Attached to: Who Poses the Greatest Threat To Your Privacy?

You have precisely made his point about the government being the major threat. When you refer to your statistics on domestic violence, you are talking about threat of force. Yes, you are much more likely to be hit by a friend or by family than some random stranger on the street

With privacy I also maintain the government is the biggest threat. First, without it making the laws and with them instituting the related punishments for the offenders, and rewards for those reporting you, what incentive would anyone knowing you have to report you? They are making a calculated judgment on the return they get for turning someone with whom they have a relationship, and the benefits that it entails, in to the government. If the incentives were not there, the likelihood of family members making egregious violations of your privacy would decrease dramatically.

The government has no need for people close to someone to report them if they can work their way far enough into your private life. Only when they begin trying to find those things out, those private things, that someone close to you is more likely to know, only then does your family become a threat. The root cause still remains the government and its desire to know more about you and control more of your life.

And on a lighter note, I would also have to say that the government is also the most inept at not letting information leak out. Banks have a much more vested interest in protecting data. With government it is simply "oops" and whatcha gonna do. Couple that with your friendly government being the only ones that can force anyone or any thing to turn over any information they desire, and there you go. I think it would be chilling to see the information squirreled away in the depths of some of the buildings around our capitals.

Only great masters of style can succeed in being obtuse. -- Oscar Wilde Most UNIX programmers are great masters of style. -- The Unnamed Usenetter

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