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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 20 declined, 9 accepted (29 total, 31.03% accepted)

+ - Republicans Block Latest Attempt at Curbing NSA Power 2

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The latest attempt at NSA reform has been prevented from passage in the Senate by a margin of 58 to 42. Introduced as a means to stop the NSA collecting bulk phone and e-mail records on a daily basis, the USA Freedom Act has been considered a practical route to curtailment of perceived overreach by security services,18 months since Edward Snowden went public. Opponents to the bill said it as needless, as Wall Street Journal raised the possibility of terrorists such as ISIS running amok on U.S. soil. Supporting the bill meanwhile were the technology giants Google and Microsoft. Prior to this vote, the bill had already been stripped of privacy protections in aid of gaining White House support. A provision to extend the controversial USA Patriot Act to 2017 was also appended by the House of Representatives."

+ - Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Singleplayer

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The developers behind the sequel to legendary videogame Elite has, to the anger and dismay of fans, dropped the offline singleplayer mode it promised. The game is due for full release in under a month. With the title having raised about $1.5 million from Kickstarter, and millions more in subsequent campaigns that advertised the feature, gamers are livid. A complaints thread on the official Elite forums has swelled to 450+ pages in only three days, while refunds are being lodged in the thousands. It is down to the discretion of Frontier, the game's developer, whether to process refund requests of original backers."

+ - Linux Community Considers NSA's Hand in systemd

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Several sources within the Linux community (here, here, here and here) have continued to discuss the possibility of NSA involvement with systemd. Various commentaries argue that the pace, scope and vociferousness surrounding the Debian kernel updates signify cause for suspicion. Discussion upon this subject has simmered since April, when Julian Assange branded the Debian project as being under the ownership of the NSA.

With examples, iGuru summarizes the arguments in this post. Noted is the worrying influence of developers working in billion-dollar corporate giant Red Hat, the potential for infiltration and manipulation within and between systemd supporters, plus numerous possible security holes and vulnerabilities in the code. Meanwhile, systemd's 217 update was announced as implemented."

+ - Marijuana Legalized in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Coinciding with the midterm elections yesterday were state ballots proposing the legalization of cannabis. All three territories where full legalization was tabled approved the measure, joining Washington state and Colorado in giving cannabis the nod. The narrowest vote was that of Alaska at a roughly 52 to 48 percent margin. Washington D.C. meanwhile saw the vote strongly tipped in favor at about 69% to 31% opposed. Buoyed by the news, advocates of legal cannabis are already contemplating the next round of state ballots in 2016."

+ - CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta-> 23

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Slashdot's finest editor to date has been mercilessly locked in a basement filled with fuzzy dice Dice created to furnish Google's self-driving cars. Screaming, followed by sounds of frenzied masturbation, have been reported from the subterranean dungeon. "There's no way enough ejaculatory fluid is getting sprayed on our dice to make us care about this deluded protestor's opinion." a Dice executive commented earlier. Former Slashdot owner turned professional millionaire Robert Malda, expressed support: "No porn. More dice than a casino. Lame.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Games Should Be In The Public Domain->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Rock, Paper, Shotgun author John Walker shook a hornet's nest by suggesting old videogames should enter the public domain during GOG's Time Machine sale. George Broussard of Duke Nukem fame took to Twitter, saying the author should be fired. In response to these comments RPS commissioned an editorial arguing why games and other media should enter the public domain much more rapidly than at present.

"I would no more steal a car than I would tolerate a company telling me that they had the exclusive rights to the idea of cars themselves." says Walker, paraphrasing a notorious anti-piracy ad. "However, there are things I’m very happy to ‘steal’, like knowledge, inspiration, or good ideas...It was until incredibly recently that amongst such things as knowledge, inspiration and good ideas were the likes of literature and music.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Satya Nadella Tipped As Microsoft's New CEO, Gates May Leave-> 1

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Satya Modella, the present head of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, has been heavily tipped as Steve Ballmer's successor. Discussion is already erupting over Nadella's potential approach to the company should he be granted the position. Bill Gates, the co-founder and present chairman of the company, may be replaced at the same time."
Link to Original Source

+ - Awesome Games Done Quick Raises $1,000,000->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Specializing in beating video games as rapidly as possible whilst raising money for cancer prevention, Awesome Games Done Quick just staged its most successful marathon to date with over $1,000,000 in donations. Highlights include Duke Nukem 3D (completed in 12 minutes), Super Metroid (45 minutes) and Half-Life (39 minutes). Game developers involved with the games, such as Valve's Zoid Kirsch, weighed in to add commentary."
Link to Original Source

+ - The NSA Revelations Decoded->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The Guardian has published a comprehensive review of the revelations derived from leaked documents published by Edward Snowden. Among the topics covered are NSA monitoring programs and techniques, the legal framework of such programs, counter-surveillance techniques, events such as the Lavabit shutdown, and prospects for reform. In the final section, some NSA documents are available for access."
Link to Original Source

+ - Silk Road Founder Charged With Two Counts of Assassination->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Further charges have been made against Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht, aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts'. Yesterday saw the shutdown of Silk Road, a website Ulbricht founded which specialized in the sale of illegal items such as recreational drugs. As well as paying for a hit on a forum member, Ulbricht later requested an undercover agent murder an arrested employee of Silk Road, terming it "the right move". Upon receiving staged photos of torture and eventually the corpse, Ulbricht paid in full."
Link to Original Source
Crime

+ - Explaining the Drop in US Crime->

Submitted by
Robotron23
Robotron23 writes "The BBC has compiled ten proposals for why crime in the USA has fallen since 1991. The arguments include the crack epidemic's conclusion, increased availability of abortion during the 1970s, and a growing prison population. The retrospective report quotes multiple criminologists, economists and law enforcement officials."
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - William Shatner Covers 'Friday'-> 2

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "In a shock return to music, William Shatner has released a cover of Internet sensation Rebecca Black's 'Friday' . The spoken word cover was originally to have been Auto-Tuned, but an angered Shatner announced: "I'm not having any pitch corrections distorting my voice." Critics are calling the Shatner cover the first to improve rather than reduce the quality of the original song."
Link to Original Source
Robotics

+ - Robot Actress Makes Stage Debut In Japan->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The BBC reports that a robot named Geminoid-F has made it's acting debut in Japan. The short play in which it appeared was a sellout with the Japanese public who were curious to see the robot's performance. However an actress who co-starred pointed out that the lack of human presence made the droid difficult to act alongside."
Link to Original Source
Crime

+ - British Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal Password->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "In one of the first cases of its kind, 19 year old Oliver Drage of Liverpool, UK has been jailed for 18 weeks for refusing to give up a password to his computer. Police who made the arrest were tackling child sexual exploitation. Drage worked in fast-food service and had no prior criminal record. Police are still attempting to crack his sophisticated 50 character password. A detective on the case termed his sentence the 'ultimate sanction'."
Link to Original Source
Idle

+ - If The PopeMobile Gets Bazooka'd, Blame Atheists->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Pope Benedict XVI, who is on a UK visit, received heavy criticism following his remarks comparing followers of atheism with Nazi extremists. The Pope's £75,000 bulletproof Mercedes, the 'PopeMobile', transports Benedict from place to place. A British commentator remarked that only a missile could pierce the car's chassis, and that if it did atheists could be blamed."
Link to Original Source

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