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Comment: Not a currency yet (Score 3, Insightful) 476

These swings are fairly meaningless since Bitcoin hasn't achieved its goal of becoming a currency yet.

The markets have turned it into a volatile foreign exchange game, and people are just trying to make a quick buck playing the market. There currently isn't any 'currency' aspect to it, since there's damn near nothing you can buy with bitcoins.

Since they failed to achieve any intrinsic value of their own, they are currently just bad, unreliable representations of legal tender. As long as that is true, nobody will ever accept them as payment for real goods or services.

Comment: US Bank uses Epsilon, too (Score 1) 185

by Phoenix Dreamscape (#35693696) Attached to: Hackers Steal Kroger's Customer List

I received a similar notification from US Bank today with regards to my linuxfund.org credit card. They called out Epsilon as the source of the leak, and claim no financial data was compromised.

---
As a valued U.S. Bank customer, we want to make you aware of a situation that has occurred related to your email address.

We have been informed by Epsilon Interactive, a vendor based in Dallas, Texas, that files containing your email address were accessed by unauthorized entry into their computer system. Epsilon helps us send you emails about products and services that may be of interest to you.

We want to assure you that U.S. Bank has never provided Epsilon with financial information about you. For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails.
---

Comment: Re:2014? (Score 1) 271

Four years development. Is this an alternate universe Boeing? Perhaps it is a Boeing from the past, when they could actually build airplanes that might approach a reasonable construction time.

Yeah, it's safe to ignore both time and money estimates from government contractors until it has blown both its time and budget constraints a few times. The first bid is always impossible and full of half-truths and omissions to win the contract. The politics are stupid, but at least sometimes it results in good research.

Comment: Please don't do this (Score 5, Informative) 128

by Phoenix Dreamscape (#33417528) Attached to: How To Make Authentic Lightsabers

The price of Graflex synchronizers has gone through the roof because of Star Wars nerds who want their own authentic-looking light sabers. This is a real nightmare for those of us who love flash bulb photography, since new Graflexes aren't being made anymore (except replicas without the electronics, specifically for building light sabers). Please, if you want to make a light saber, buy a Graflex replica instead of an original. They're cheaper, in better condition, and don't deprive anyone of a now-rare useful tool.

Comment: not surprising (Score 2, Interesting) 773

by Phoenix Dreamscape (#32609432) Attached to: Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names

Considering how many entry forms still don't allow '+' in an e-mail address (or, worse, allow it in the sign-up box but not in the unsubscribe box), and considering how many banks still restrict you to an 8-character password, does it come as any surprise that they have difficulty with something that isn't defined in an RFC?

Comment: Do they have to buy them? (Score 1) 220

by Phoenix Dreamscape (#32260224) Attached to: Black Duck Eggs and Other Secrets of Chinese Hacks

Couldn't the restaurant... buy regular duck eggs and ferment them?

A century egg can apparently be made quickly by soaking the egg in salt and sodium hydroxide for a week or two. Or you could actually bury it in alkaline soil... believe it or not, you don't actually have to be in China to accomplish this.

I propose we round up any dirty chinamen buying drain cleaner at the grocery store on the grounds that they must be no good commie spies!

Security

+ - US House of Representatives passes P2P ban->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Recently, the US House of Representatives passed a bill in an attempt to ban peer-to-peer file-sharing applications on federal computers and networks. Similar bills have been proposed before, apparently in response to confidential government documents being found on LimeWire. The text of the bill, however, provides a very broad definition of "peer-to-peer file sharing software", and may extend to more than they intend (SMB? LDAP?)."
Link to Original Source
Games

Game Difficulty As a Virtue 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-hail-battletoads dept.
The Wii and various mobile gaming platforms have done wonders for the trend toward casual or "easy" games. But the success of a few recent titles, despite their difficulty, has caused some to wonder whether the pendulum has swung too far; whether a little frustration can be seen as a good thing. Quoting: "The evidence is subtle but compelling. For one example, look to major consumer website GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2009: Atlus' PS3 RPG Demon's Souls, which received widespread critical acclaim – none of which failed to include a mention of the game's steep challenge. GameSpot called it 'ruthlessly, unforgivingly difficult.' Demon's Souls was a sleeper hit, an anomaly in the era of accessibility. One would think the deck was stacked against a game that demanded such vicious persistence, such precise attention – and yet a surge of praise from critics and developers alike praised the game for reintroducing the experience of meaningful challenge, of a game that demanded something from its players rather than looked for ways to hand them things. It wasn't just Demon's Souls that recently flipped the proverbial bird to the 'gaming for everyone' trend. In many ways, the independent development scene can be viewed on the macro level as a harbinger of trends to come, and over the past year and into 2010, many indies have decided to be brutal to their players."
Transportation

Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics 913

Posted by timothy
from the drive-by-wire dept.
cyclocommuter writes with an excerpt from a brief WSJ story on increasing electronic control of car components: "The gas pedal system used Toyota Motor Co.'s recall crisis was born from a movement in the auto industry to rely more on electronics to carry out a vehicle's most critical functions. The intricacy of such systems, which replace hoses and hydraulic fluid with computer chips and electrical sensors, has been a focus as Toyota struggled to find the cause for sudden acceleration of vehicles that led the company to halt sales of eight models this week."
Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the download-compile-reboot-repeat dept.
diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."
Privacy

MIT Project "Gaydar" Shakes Privacy Assumptions 508

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-who-you-know dept.
theodp writes "At MIT, an experiment that identifies which students are gay is raising new questions about online privacy. Using data from Facebook, two students in an MIT class on ethics and law on the electronic frontier made a striking discovery: just by looking at a person's online friends, they could predict whether the person was gay. The project, given the name 'Gaydar' by the students, is part of the fast-moving field of social network analysis, which examines what the connections between people can tell us, from predicting who might be a terrorist to the likelihood a person is happy, fat, liberal, or conservative." MIT professor Hal Abelson, who co-taught the course, is quoted: "That pulls the rug out from a whole policy and technology perspective that the point is to give you control over your information — because you don't have control over your information."

Comment: Re:Projectors? (Score 4, Interesting) 249

by Snowspinner (#29300737) Attached to: Sony To Launch 3D TVs By Late 2010

Because you need a screen that will reflect the light back in a polarized fashion. In film terms, you're talking about a screen with silver crystals in it for reflectivity. But those screens are enormously fragile - which is part of why 3-D keeps flopping over in theaters - if one person throws their drink at the screen, or even touches it, the screen is wrecked for good and needs to be replaced.

That's not technology suitable for home usage. Which is why home systems have always been based on field sequential systems of 3-D.

The Matrix

How The Matrix Online Went Wrong 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-like-this dept.
As the July 31st deadline for The Matrix Online's closure looms, Gamer Limit is running a story discussing the game's shortcomings, as well as some of the decisions that led to its failure. Quoting: "I honestly thought the writers must have absolutely hated the remaining cast of The Matrix Trilogy or something, because they constantly seemed to go out of their way to phase out existing characters in favor of newer ones. The cast overall basically made me, as a player, feel distant from the main storyline and made the entire game feel like a Matrix side story instead of the continuation it was meant to be. ... When MxO first launched there was an entire team dedicated to playing the game as Agents and other key characters as a means to further in-game events and directly interact with players, giving players the feeling that they truly were making a difference. After the SOE buyout of the game the LESIG team was reduced to playing minor characters before eventually being phased out and replaced with a Live Event Team (LET) comprised purely of volunteers."

Comment: Nothing even related to idTech? (Score 3, Interesting) 113

by Snowspinner (#28708701) Attached to: The Best Game Engines

I'm surprised that the only engine on this list to derive from the Quake family is the Call of Duty engine. I'm not enough of a game engine expert to disagree with any given choice, but it's very, very surprising to me to see one of the major families of engines basically ignored. At the very least, some discussion of its omission seems in order.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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