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+ - The Minecraft Parent

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Michael Agger has an interesting article in the New Yorker about parenting in the internet era and why Minecraft is the one game parents want their kids to play.

Screens are no longer simply bicycles for the mind; they are bicycles that children can ride anywhere, into the virtual schoolyard where they might encounter disturbing news photos, bullies, creeps, and worse. Setting a child free on the Internet is a failure to cordon off the world and its dangers. It’s nuts. We inure ourselves to this craziness by relying on the basic innocence of kids: they could type all sorts of unseemly things into that Google search box, but they usually don’t.

The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards. But what unsettles parents about Internet gaming, despite fond memories of after-school Nintendo afternoons, is its interconnectivity.

Minecraft is played by both boys and girls, unusually. Players can join together to build worlds together: airports, castles, cave systems, roller coasters, an accurate replica of Westeros. At its best, the game is not unlike being in the woods with your best friends. Parents also join in. The Internet is full of testimonials of parents playing with their kids, of children reading their first word in Minecraft, and other milestones usually performed in the analog world.

According to Agger the significance of Minecraft is how the game shows us that lively, pleasant virtual worlds can exist alongside our own, and that they are places where we want to spend time, where we learn and socialize. “To me what Minecraft represents is more than a hit game franchise,” says new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.” We need to meet our kids halfway in these worlds, and try to guide them like we do in the real world concludes Agger. "Who knows how Minecraft will change under Microsoft’s ownership, but it’s a historic game that has shown many of us a middle way to navigate the eternal screens debate.""

Comment: Re:Apple's decently low-power (Score 2) 287

by Toe, The (#47942373) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I was going to post roughly the same thing. Data service is not defined by the number of u's. It's by the service you get out of it.

I can't imagine having racks in my house unless my full-time career is intensive hacking. Otherwise, I'm just nerding out, wasting boatloads of power, and filling my house full of noise and heat in order to show chicks how incredibly sexy I am with my racks full of linux boxes and hubs and UPSes and whatnot. Ahem.

A single Mac mini is an amazing home server. It's the hub that my more portable devices check in with or rely on. And it's all I need, and more. It is shitloads more powerful than a rack full of computers I admin'd a decade ago, so why would I need more?

+ - Ask Slashdot: What Will Happen To All The Data Google Collects?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "About two thirds of websites run Google code (mostly Analytics, AdSense, and +1) that tells Google what you do there and where you came from. Analytics is used by 63% of Fortune 500 companies and 71% of the top 10k websites. 800 million Android phones are in use (that's 11% of all humans), telling Google pretty much everywhere they go, everything they do, and everyone they talk to. Millions of people use Google Maps, telling Google their home and their destinations. Over 400 million people use Gmail, telling Google everything they write and receive by email. Plus untold millions use Google Toolbar. Does Google do anything with this data? And even if they "don't be evil" with it today, is there anything stopping them from "being evil" with it tomorrow? What about 10 years from now when Google's assets are up for sale to the highest bidder... what will they do with this data?"

+ - Big Bang's Final Prediction Directly Confirmed!

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Big Bang has, among its predictions, three cornerstones: the Hubble Expansion of the Universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the abundance of the Light Elements due to Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The first one has been confirmed to spectacular accuracy, and with the COBE, WMAP and Planck satellites, the spectrum and fluctuations in the CMB rule out almost every other feasible alternative. But detecting the abundance of the light elements directly has always run into a difficulty: the formation of stars in the Universe pollutes the intergalactic medium, ruining our ability to see anything "pristine." We'd have to get incredibly lucky, to find a region of molecular gas that had never formed stars in-between our line-of-sight to a quasar or bright galaxy. For nearly 70 years, that didn't happen, and then all of a sudden, we found two. The Big Bang stands tall after all!"

+ - The E-Mails That Prove Journalism Must Be Reformed->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Secret emails between journalists for leading tech sites reveal how they colluded together to push personal and political agendas and suppress discussion about issues. Sites implicated include WIRED, Ars Technica, Eurogamer, Joystiq, Kotaku, Polygon, and more."
Link to Original Source

+ - Invasion Of Ukraine Continuing As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling-> 3

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "News.com.au reports, "This morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott labelled Russia’s escalating and “open” invasion into Ukraine as “war”. But he was not only person using fighting words. ... on Friday, Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat was simple. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.” It’s the first time in more than 25 years that Moscow has raised the spectre of nuclear war. The difference this time is that its tanks are already pouring over its western borders. “A great war arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II,” Ukraine’s Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey wrote ... warning of “tens of thousands of deaths”. Putin appears to agree. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports Putin has told the outgoing European Commission President ... : “If I want, I take Kiev in two weeks.” " — CNN reports, "The British government source told CNN on Friday that Russia has moved 4,000 to 5,000 military personnel — a figure far higher than one U.S. official's earlier claim of 1,000 troops. The soldiers are aligned in "formed units" and fighting around Luhansk and Donetsk.... And they may soon have company: Some 20,000 troops are on border and "more may be on the way," ..." — Newsweek reports, "Russia Has Threatened Nuclear Attack, Says Ukraine Defence Minister""
Link to Original Source

+ - New html element <picture> to make future web faster->

Submitted by nerdyalien
nerdyalien (1182659) writes "At some point or another, haven't we all web developers spent unjustifiable number of hours trying to optimize a desktop site for mobile devices ? Responsive Web Designs (RWD) has given us the solution "develop once, works in every device"; however, still it downloads multi-MB images and resize them based on device screen resolution. Retrieving optimized images from the server, based on device (desktop, tablet, mobile) and its internet connection (fiber, mobile), has always been an open problem. Recently, number of freelance developers are tackling this with a new html element <picture>, which informs the web browser to download optimized image from the server. This tag to be featured in Chrome and FireFox browsers later this year. Will this finally deliver us faster web browsing on mobile devices, and pain-free web development experience ?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Uber now blocked all over Germany

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Following the blocking of Uber in Berlin, DE, the district court of Frankfurt/Main has issued a restraining order for Uber services all over Germany. The district court is alleging Uber "uncompetitive bahaviour" (Unlauteres Wettbewerbsverhalten) and has issued that not following the restraining order will result in a fine of €250.000 or imprisonment. This ruling is related to the German "Personenbeförderungsgesetz" and is outlining that no legal entity (person, enterprise) is allowed to transfer passengers without having passed the relevant tests and having the appropriate ensurance coverage. (Source, Translation)"

+ - In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—"taken in for an emergency medical evaluation" for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace's Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple reveals the most common reasons that it rejects apps

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "One of the great mysteries of the App Store is why certain apps get rejected and why others don’t. Apple has let a surprising number of ripoffs and clones through the store’s iron gates, yet some developers face rejection for seemingly innocent apps. “Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps,” explains Apple on a new webpage called “Common App Rejections.” Rejections include: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected; Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected."

+ - Apple to Unveil New Products at Sept. 9 Event ->

Submitted by Halolland
Halolland (3808989) writes "The Cupertino company sent out official invitations to the press Thursday morning, with a date (September 9th), time, and place (10am, Cupertino). The invitation also came with a brief message: 'Wish We Could Say More."

The tech press is already saying plenty about the event, speculating that we'll see a new iPhone, a new iPad (both reportedly larger), and maybe even the long-guessed about iWatch. Apple is not saying anything beyond its emailed invitation."

Link to Original Source

+ - 160,000 New Malware Samples Appear Each Day

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Malware is still being created at the record levels reached in the previous quarter: 15 million new samples were generated, at an average rate of 160,000 every day, according to Panda Security. Trojans, once again, have accounted for more infections (62.8%) than any other type of malware, although this figure is lower than the previous quarter (79.90%). Potentially Unwanted Programs are in second place with 24.77% of infections, underlining how these techniques are now being used massively. A long way behind came adware/spyware (7.09%), viruses (2.68%) and worms (2.66%)."

+ - Stealing ATM PINs with a cheap infrared camera-> 1

Submitted by cccc828
cccc828 (740705) writes "German tech news website heise.de reports about a video by Mark Rober. It shows how to use a $300 infrared camera for the iPhone to read the residual heat signatures of an ATM. The residual heat signatures allow an attacker to reconstruct the PIN around 80% of the time. While this attack vector is not new, IR cameras used to be both rare and expensive. The best defense against the attack is to simply touch all the keypads keys after making a payment."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers Say Neanderthals created cave art

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Belying their reputation as the dumb cousins of early modern humans, Neanderthals created cave art, an activity regarded as a major cognitive step in the evolution of humankind, scientists reported on Monday in a paper describing the first discovery of artwork by this extinct species. The discovery is "a major contribution to the redefinition of our perception of Neanderthal culture," said prehistorian William Rendu of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, who was not involved in the work. "It is a new and even stronger evidence of the Neanderthal capacity for developing complex symbolic thought" and "abstract expression," abilities long believed exclusive to early modern humans."

+ - How Microsoft dragged its development practices into the 21st century->

Submitted by nerdyalien
nerdyalien (1182659) writes "As a web developer who joined the industry few years back, I had to practice Agile from day one. Despite the years of expereince and what I heard/learned in Agile related events (i.e. workshops, conferences), I always maintained a firm opinion that Agile would not scale in large projects. For me, it was the simple fact that there weren't enough strong case studies to explain how a large organization or a project successfully adopted Agile in their daily business. It seems tide has changed, and the Redmond giant has embraced Agile to deliver one of its flagship products. Is this the turning point for large scale Agile ?"
Link to Original Source

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