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Comment Re:Not a big deal (Score 1) 219

So being a cheater yourself, tell us what the fuck inspires you. It's a game, what possible enjoyment is there in cheating to win? why play at all?

Some people don't have the time to invest in practicing. You're working 40+ hour weeks and could be playing against prepubescent twerps who spend every waking moment on the game. Even game developers have realized this and added pay-to-win shit to some games. Grind or spend, baby.

I never really got into any of the online MMO or FPS games, but I do play Angry Birds 2 once in awhile on my phone. I've got a hack for unlimited in-game currency, and it gives a bit of an advantage in the multiplayer "arena", since I can play every battle with all the premium power-ups. Of course, this isn't really a cheating hack, since Donald Trump could easily do the same thing, if he traded his presidential ambitions for an Angry Birds addiction.

Comment Re:Apple doesn't need a killer device. (Score 1) 428

Most people buy their phones through a contract, which means that even if iPhones are more expensive, they are quite affordable over 18 months

Thanks to T-Mobile's success in using newspeak to convince the public that subsidized phone contracts are pure Satan-piss evil, the major carriers in the US have all pretty much switched to a model where wireless service is sold on a "no contract" basis, but you finance the full cost of your phone.

Under the previous, 2 year contract arrangement, you'd pay the same for your wireless service whether you opted for the $0 Huawei Dolphin Fart Pro running Froyo, or the "$199" iPhone du jour. Might as well get the iPhone. However, now that carriers expect you to finance the full cost of your phone, there's some serious money to be saved going with a Moto G, ZTE Zmax 2, Blu Vivo XL, etc. All of those phones cost under $200.

Apple is certainly not doomed, but their glory days of iPhones flying off the shelves might be behind them.

Comment Re:It was the first standard for video? (Score 1) 406

When szczys said "video" szczys meant porn. VGA was the first standard that allowed users to watch downloaded porn that was as good as what they could watch on videotapes.

CGA, EGA, MDA and Hercules couldn't equal a videotape.... and PCs didn't come equipped with NTSC, PAL or SECAM.

You couldn't actually watch VHS quality video on a PC until circa 1995. Even then, you needed a video card with a dedicated MPEG decoder, or at least a Pentium 90MHz (that's 0.09GHz for you younger millennials) CPU and a video card that supported video overlay acceleration (if you wanted to watch it full screen without it getting choppy). But your bigger problem would have been the lack of broadband access - at the time, even AOL was still charging by the hour, for dial-up.

VGA, as it existed when it superseded EGA - well, it was good for looking at pixelated 256 color still images. Magazines (images and words printed on processed dead trees, don't see them much these days) still had the advantage when it came to clarity of what you were looking at.

Comment It's worse than that. (Score 1) 276

Truck drivers. There sure are a lot of them in the US.

Not just truck drivers - any job that involves moving someone or something from point A to point B with a human behind the wheel is a target for elimination. For the most part, a job in the transportation industry pays a livable wage. If transportation jobs are rendered obsolete by autonomous vehicles, we're talking a mind-mindbogglingly huge number of workers who will have to retrain for another career, or fight for the remaining low-wage jobs that are available to unskilled workers.

As much as politicians love scaring the American public with the specter of terrorism, it's the dropping value of an hour of unskilled human labor which should really be sending chills down peoples' spines. The point some members of the liberal camp fail to see is "minimum wage", is a misnomer. It's a minimum cost of labor, and raising it is akin to price fixing a commodity that is in obvious oversupply. Some municipalities have already done just that. Allow that to sink in: We have so many unskilled laborers willing to work for unlivable wages, that we've actually had to pass laws mandating they're paid more than the free market can bear.

Star Trek and and the Spaceship Earth attraction at EPCOT told us automation would provide us with a life of leisure, while we're free to pursue our dreams. You'd spend the day composing music, designing surfboards, painting, etc., while Mr. Roboto goes to work for you. In the real world though, Mr. Roboto works for the big corporations, and they see no need to employ *you*.

Comment Good luck with that (Score 1) 319

This is why you go to school and get a good education, so you can get a job that can't be replaced by a robot.

To paraphrase a line from The Incredibles, "When everyone is college educated - no one will be."

I'm not exactly thrilled at the prospect of living in a world where you'll need a 4 year college degree to bag groceries, because everyone in the transportation industry was put out of work by self-driving vehicles and drones. From the looks of things, we're not even that far off.

Android

Samsung Woos Developers As It Eyes Tizen Expansion Beyond Smartphones 80

New submitter Manish Singh writes: Why is Samsung, the South Korean technology conglomerate which has the tentpole position in Android, becoming increasinglu focused on its homegrown operating system Tizen? At its annual developer summit this week, the company announced new SDKs for smartwatches, smart TVs, and smartphones, and also shared its future roadmap.
Biotech

Checking Mammoth DNA Against Elephants Hints At How They Got Hairy 22

An anonymous reader writes: A new study on mammoth DNA comparing the hairy animals to their cousins, the Asian and African elephants, has isolated what genes separate it from its warm-weather cousins. The study found that genes controlling skin and hair development, fat metabolism, insulin signaling, and skull shape, differed from today's contemporary elephant species. "They have this weird hump on their back, which is thought to be something like a camel hump — sort of a fat deposit that stored water and energy for the cold, dark winters," says Vincent Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago.
Space

Past a Certain Critical Temperature, the Universe Will Be Destroyed 143

StartsWithABang writes: If you take all the kinetic motion out of a system, and have all the particles that make it up perfectly at rest, somehow even overcoming intrinsic quantum effects, you'd reach absolute zero, the theoretically lowest temperature of all. But what about the other direction? Is there a limit to how hot something can theoretically get? You might think not, that while things like molecules, atoms, protons and even matter will break down at high enough temperatures, you can always push your system hotter and hotter. But it turns out that the Universe limits what's actually possible, as any physical system will self-destruct beyond a certain point.
Python

How Much Python Do You Need To Know To Be Useful? 263

Nerval's Lobster writes: Since Python is a general-purpose language, it finds its way into a whole lot of different uses and industries. That means the industry in which you work has a way of determining what you actually need to know in terms of the language, as developer Jeff Cogswell explains in a new Dice piece. For example, if you're hired to write apps that interact with operating systems and monitor devices, you might not need to know how to use the Python modules for scientific and numerical programming. In a similar fashion, if you're hired to write Python code that interacts with a MySQL database, then you won't need to master how it works with CouchDB. The question is, how much do you need to know about Python's basics? Cogswell suggests there are three basic levels to learning Python: Learn the core language itself, such as the syntax and basic types (and the difference between Python 2 and Python 3); learn the commonly used modules, and familiarize yourself with other modules; learn the bigger picture of software development with Python, such as including Python in a build process, using the pip package manager, and so on. But is that enough?
Advertising

Microsoft Research Paper Considers Serving Web-ads From Localhost 231

An anonymous reader writes: A paper from Microsoft researchers (PDF) posits the possibility of 'pushing' web ads to a user's own computer and serving them into pre-arranged containers on web pages, with the EFF or ACLU serving as privacy mediators between the user and the advertisers who want to engage them. However the framework — dubbed 'Privad' — would need to get installed on the user's system by the same familiar means which the likes of Superfish use. The report admits that Privad would probably need to be disseminated "through adware-style software bundling, shopping discounts, toolbars or other incentives."
Hardware

Ask Slashdot: What Hardware Is In Your Primary Computer? 558

An anonymous reader writes: Here's something we haven't done in a while: list the specs of your main system (best one) so we can see what kinds of computers Slashdot geeks use. Context would be interesting, too — if you're up for it, explain how and why you set it up as you did, as well as the computer's primary purpose(s). Things you can list include (but are not limited to): CPU, motherboard, video card, memory, storage (SSD/HDD), exotic Controllers (RAID or caching), optical drives, displays, peripherals, etc. We can compare and contrast, see what specs are suitable for what purposes, and perhaps learn a trick or two.
Open Source

Reactions To Apple's Plans To Open Source Swift 246

itwbennett writes: At Apple's WWDC 2015 event yesterday, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, announced that the company planned to open source the Swift language. Reaction to this announcement so far has sounded more or less like this: Deafening applause with undertones of "we'll see." As a commenter on this Ars Technica story points out, "Their [Apple's] previous open-source efforts (Darwin, WebKit, etc) have generally tended to be far more towards the Google style of closed development followed by a public source dump." Simon Phipps, the former director of OSI, also expressed some reservations, saying, "While every additional piece of open source software extends the opportunities for software freedom, the critical question for a programming language is less whether it is itself open source and more whether it's feasible to make open source software with it. Programming languages are glue for SDKs, APIs and libraries. The real value of Swift will be whether it can realistically be used anywhere but Apple's walled garden."

Comment Re:The fence's warehouse (Score 1) 205

Much as a Fencing operation or a chop shop might occupy similar premises to legitimate businesses?

Bad analogy. A fencing operation or chop shop is taking possession of stolen property and re-selling it. It was more like Megaupload was a strip mall and they leased out space to legitimate businesses and a few chop shops.

eBay essentially gets away with the same thing (and takes 10% on each sale). You don't honestly think all these iPhones are from people who just forgot their iCloud password, do you?

Comment Re:Hmmm (Score 5, Interesting) 205

Were you born a criminal sociopath and con-artist, or did you evolve into one?

You may personally dislike the guy, but running a public cloud storage service isn't supposed to be illegal. The service had substantial, non-infringing uses, which was previously the litmus test for whether a product exists solely to enable copyright infringement. Otherwise, we wouldn't have things like photocopiers, tape recorders, MP3 players, VCRs, DVRs, cameras, and pretty much every form of blank media.

Megaupload was used quite extensively for storing open source projects and homebrew Android ROMs. That alone should've demonstrated the service had substantial, non-infringing uses.

I understand that Megaupload was allegedly not acting on DMCA takedown requests as promptly as they should've. Still, that seems like something that should be handled with fines, not going all Gestapo by seizing the domain and servers. You wouldn't torch a restaurant to the ground for failing a health inspection, would you?

Education

Writer: "Why I Defaulted On My Student Loans" 1032

schwit1 writes: There are some valid points raised in Lee Siegel's 1,100 word rant against college loans (if not so much against college education). There are also some bad ones. But two things are clear: the words "personal" and/or "responsibility" were used precisely zero times. Siegel, who described himself as "the author of five books who is writing a memoir about money," is hardly a glowing advertisement for the return on nearly a decade in university just to achieve a Master of Philosophy degree.

Siegel says, "As difficult as it has been, I’ve never looked back. The millions of young people today, who collectively owe over $1 trillion in loans, may want to consider my example. It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college. ... The rapacity of American colleges and universities is turning social mobility, the keystone of American freedom, into a commodified farce. If people groaning under the weight of student loans simply said, 'Enough,' then all the pieties about debt that have become absorbed into all the pieties about higher education might be brought into alignment with reality. Instead of guaranteeing loans, the government would have to guarantee a college education."

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