Forgot your password?

At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert 241

Posted by samzenpus
from the secret-coffee dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this interesting story about what it's like to work at “Store Number 1,” the CIA's Starbucks. The new supervisor thought his idea was innocent enough. He wanted the baristas to write the names of customers on their cups to speed up lines and ease confusion, just like other Starbucks do around the world. But these aren't just any customers. They are regulars at the CIA Starbucks. "They could use the alias 'Polly-O string cheese' for all I care," said a food services supervisor at the Central Intelligence Agency, asking that his identity remain unpublished for security reasons. "But giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn't work for this location."

Comment: Re:What about BSD derivatives (Score 1) 221

by TeknoHog (#47988335) Attached to: Outlining Thin Linux

I used NetBSD for a while back in the day, and I loved the Real Unix purity and simplicity after years of desktop Linux distros, but I missed some of the userland idiosyncracies and hardware support. Then I found out about Gentoo, and to me it's been the best of both worlds, starting with Portage which obviously owes a lot to BSD Ports.

Of course, I don't recommend Gentoo to anyone, because the collective wisdom of /. says it is only for ricers. All those oldskool BSD users must be ricers too, for doing all that compiling. (Pro tip: you can share your once-built binaries across several machines...)

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 794

by TeknoHog (#47988181) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

"Why?" is still a valid question; and science says we lack the tools to gather evidence of "why?".

IMHO, "why" questions either form an endless chain or are completely subjective, so they are far from valid in any scientific setting. For example, some say the reason god created the universe is love. Why love? What's the point of love? What's the point of that point? The only way to end this chain is by invoking some value, which is inherently subjective (even if a great number of peole share values).

Of course, the same can be said about the "what" and "how" questions of science. You can always dig deeper into nature and never find out how everything really works. However, we still do it because it's fun to know and understand things.


Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5 262

Posted by timothy
from the enough-is-enough-for-anybody dept.
Lucas123 writes When the iPhone 5 was launched two years ago, the base $199 (with wireless plan) model came with 16GB of flash memory. Fast forward to this week when the iPhone 6 was launched with the same capacity. Now consider that the cost of 16GB of NAND flash has dropped by more than 13% over the past two years. So why would Apple increase capacity on its $299 model iPhone 6 to 64GB (eliminating the 32GB model), but but keep the 16GB in the $199 model? The answer may lie in the fact that the 16GB iPhone is, and has been, by far the best selling model. IHS analyst Fang Zhang believes Apple is using that to push users to its iCloud storage service. Others believe restricting storage capacity allows Apple to afford the new features, like NFC and biometrics.

Comment: Re:Apple's new streaming service? (Score 1) 358

by TeknoHog (#47946153) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

Do you still get the occasional partygoer who says they have connectivity, and they really really want you to play this great song from Youtube or Spotify with their phone? Because that's why DJs have all the fancy equipment and skills, to plug in someone's phone.

Connectivity is one reason why I stay away from closed systems like Spotify. Even with good signal, I wouldn't take the risk of something happening halfway, I really need the entire song on my machine. However, it's more about the principles and practice of DJing. For starters, I need the actual file for loading on the digital turntable and some analysis/planning to get a smooth mix. If someone wants to show off their 1337 Spotify skillz, then by all means do it, take my place for the rest of the night and let me hit the bottle.


Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back 92

Posted by timothy
from the waiting-in-the-wings-now-patented dept.
snydeq writes The wheels of justice spin slowly, but they seem finally to be running software patents out of town, writes Simon Phipps in his analysis of how Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the U.S. 'In case after case, the Court of Appeals is using Alice to resolve patent appeals. In each case so far, the Court of Appeals has found the software patents in question to be invalid. ... As PatentlyO points out, the Alice effect is even reaching to lower courts, saving the Court of Appeals from having to strike down patent findings on appeal.' Although the patent industry broadly speaking sees the Alice verdict as a death knell for many existing patents, some expect Alice to turn software patents into 'draftsmen's art because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.'

The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the forcing-introverts-to-play-with-introverts dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Multiplayer modes used to be an extra part of most games — an optional addition that the developers could build (or not) as they saw fit. These days, it's different: many games are marketed under the illusion of being single-player, when their focus has shifted to an almost mandatory multiplayer mode. (Think always-online DRM, and games as services.) It's not that this is necessarily bad for gameplay — it's that design patterns are shifting, and if you don't like multiplayer, you're going to have a harder time finding games you do like.

The article's author uses a couple recent major titles as backdrop for the discussion: "With both Diablo III and Destiny, I'm not sure where and how to attribute my enjoyment. Yes, the mechanics of both are sound, but given the resounding emptiness felt when played solo, perhaps the co-op element is compensating. I'd go so far as to argue games can be less mechanically compelling, so long as the multiplayer element is engaging. The thrill of barking orders at friends can, in a way, cover design flaws. I hem and haw on the quality of each game's mechanics because the co-op aspect literally distracted me from engaging with them to some degree."

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik