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The Courts

Supreme Court Overturns Conviction For Man Who Posted 'Threatening' Messages On Facebook 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the being-a-jerk-online-is-not-a-crime dept.
schwit1 sends news that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 in favor of Anthony Elonis, a man who wrote a series of angry messages on Facebook. The posts included quotes from rap lyrics containing "violent imagery," and were directed at Elonis's wife, his co-workers, law enforcement, and a kindergarten class. Elonis was charged and convicted under a federal statute that outlaws "any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another." The jury in his case was told the standard for judging such a threat was whether a "reasonable person" would interpret it as such. According to the Court's ruling (PDF), that standard was not enough to convict him. They call it "a standard feature of civil liability in tort law inconsistent with the conventional criminal conduct requirement of 'awareness of some wrongdoing.'" The case is notable for being the first Supreme Court ruling about free speech on social media, but the ruling itself was quite narrow.
Classic Games (Games)

1-Pixel Pac-Man 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the point-based-ghostbusting dept.
szczys writes: Retro games just aren't the same since the display technology resolution has exploded. I went the opposite direction and chose a display with less resolution than the original. This reinvention of Pac-Man uses a 32x32 RGB LED module which are made for LED billboards. This makes the player just one pixel. Add in an Atari joystick and we have a winner.This is a great programming challenge. If you've never looked at Pac-Man AI before, it's fascinating and worth your time!
Security

Malware Attribution: Should We Identify the Crooks Who Deploy It? 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-break-it-you-bought-it dept.
Brian Krebs asks: What makes one novel strain of malicious software more dangerous or noteworthy than another? Is it the sheer capability and feature set of the new malware, or are these qualities meaningless without also considering the skills, intentions and ingenuity of the person wielding it? Most experts probably would say it's important to consider attribution insofar as it is knowable, but it's remarkable how seldom companies that regularly publish reports on the latest criminal innovations go the extra mile to add context about the crooks apparently involved in deploying those tools.
Transportation

Carnegie Mellon Struggles After Uber Poaches Top Robotics Researchers 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-an-app-for-that dept.
ideonexus sends a report from the Wall Street Journal (paywalled) saying Uber has poached 40 researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in an attempt to jump-start development of autonomous vehicle technology. In February, Uber and CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center announced a partnership to work together on the technology. But according to the WSJ, Uber quickly offered massive bonuses and salary increases to simply bring many of the researchers in-house. The NREC's new director made a presentation a few weeks ago about strategies for rebuilding and recovering. The presentation said NREC’s funding from contracts to develop technology with the U.S. Department of Defense and other organizations was expected to sink as low as $17 million from the $30 million originally projected for this year. Some contracts scientists were working on disappeared when the researchers left, accounting for the drop in funding. And it appeared the center would have to raise salaries significantly to prevent more exits. A few scientists left NREC for other companies in Pittsburgh because of concerns the center might be shut down, said two people familiar with the departures.
Intel

Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Today Intel purchased chipmaker Altera for $16.7 billion. This follows another huge purchase in the semiconductor industry last week, when Avago snapped up Broadcom for $37 billion. This has been a record year for consolidation within the industry, as companies struggle to deal with slowing growth and stagnating stock prices. Altera had already rejected an offer from Intel, but shareholders pressured them to reconsider. "Acquiring Altera may help Intel defend and extend its most profitable business: supplying server chips used in data centers. While sales of semiconductors for PCs are declining as more consumers rely on tablets and smartphones to get online, the data centers needed to churn out information and services for those mobile devices are driving orders for higher-end Intel processors and shoring up profitability."

+ - Intel Buys Altera for $16.7 Billion->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Today Intel purchased chipmaker Altera for $16.7 billion. This follows another huge purchase in the semiconductor industry last week, when Avago snapped up Broadcom for $37 billion. This has been a record year for consolidation within the industry, as growth slows and stock prices begin to stagnate. Altera had already rejected an offer from Intel, but shareholders pressured them to reconsider. "Acquiring Altera may help Intel defend and extend its most profitable business: supplying server chips used in data centers. While sales of semiconductors for PCs are declining as more consumers rely on tablets and smartphones to get online, the data centers needed to churn out information and services for those mobile devices are driving orders for higher-end Intel processors and shoring up profitability."
Link to Original Source
Windows

Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th 299

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
Ammalgam writes with news that Windows 10 will be released worldwide on July 29th, 2015. It'll be immediately available for PCs and tablets — their announcement doesn't mention smartphones. The upgrade will be free (within one year of launch) for users running legitimate copies of Windows 7 and 8.1. Another reader notes that users of those two operating systems are now being prompted to upgrade by a message in their notification area (system tray).

Comment: Re:For future reference (Score 4, Interesting) 335

by Soulskill (#49813959) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

When we select submissions, voting is the strongest factor, but it's not the only factor — timeliness, factual accuracy, the degree to which it's on topic, and several other characteristics all factor in. For example, we're not going to run a 5-year-old story no matter how many people vote it up, nor a story about the sun being made of freshly chopped artichoke hearts.

Comment: Re:Not ignoring the story is a good start! (Score 3, Informative) 335

by Soulskill (#49813935) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

There's been no pressure influencing my treatment of this topic.

The main reason it's late is that we were asking some questions internally so we could put up a more informative post on the subject. Unfortunately, communications were slow. Rather than keep waiting, I just put up the most accurate submission we've gotten. (May or may not still happen later.)

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.

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