Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - A Playstation Network Hack Timeline (

tripleevenfall writes: A timeline regarding the PSN hack shows that Sony was aware of the intrusion on Tuesday, April 19, but didn't bring the network down until Wednesday and didn't reveal consumer information was stolen until Friday. There is still no guess as to how long the data has actually been in the black-hats' hands.

Digital Distribution Numbers Speak To Health of PC Game Industry 192

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from PC Authority: "Over the years many voices have declared PC gaming dead. We have seen developers abandon the platform for consoles, citing piracy as the cause. Game stores have slowly relegated PC games from prime shelf position to one tucked away in the back corner — even Microsoft dumped AAA PC game developers from the company. It seems, though, that the demise of the PC as a games platform has been exaggerated, because until very recently sales data ignored digital distribution, with the latest data released by US company NPD revealing that 48% of PC unit sales in the US in 2009 were digital. That translates to 21.3 million games downloaded in the US. Interestingly, although 48% of games were sold online, it only worked out as 36% of the revenue. This highlights the fact that it isn't just convenience that has PC gamers shopping online; it is also that games are generally cheaper than in stores."

EU Piracy Estimates — Just How Inaccurate? 124

Last week we discussed news that a US government report questioned the reliability of piracy statistics from the media industry. Reader superapecommando sends in a follow-up written by Glyn Moody that examines a similar problem in Europe. Quoting: "As far as I know, no similar analysis has been carried out for European reports. So I thought it might be interesting to look at one particular European report on the subject — not least because I've heard that its findings influenced some of the MPs voting on the Digital Economy Act. ... the net result of this 68-page report, with all of its tables and detailed methodology, is that four out of the top five markets used for calculating the overall piracy loss in Europe draw on figures supplied by the recording industry itself. Those apparently terrifying new figures detailing the supposed loss of money and jobs due to piracy in Europe turn out to be little more than a re-statement of the industry's previous claims in a slightly different form. As a result, as little credence can be placed in the report as in those criticised by the US GAO."

Why Computer Science Students Cheat 694

alphadogg writes "Enrollment in undergraduate computer science courses is at an all-time high at colleges nationwide. But this trend that's been hailed by the US tech industry has a dark side: a disproportionate number of students taking these courses are caught cheating. More students are caught cheating in introductory computer science courses than in any other course on campus, thanks to automated tools that professors use to detect unauthorized code reuse, excessive collaboration, and other forbidden ways of completing homework assignments. Computer science professors say their students are not more dishonest than students in other fields; they're just more likely to get caught because software is available to check for plagiarism. 'The truth is that on every campus, a large proportion of the reported cases of academic dishonesty come from introductory computer science courses, and the reason is totally obvious: we use automated tools to detect plagiarism,' explains Professor Ed Lazowska, chair of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. 'We compare against other student submissions, and we compare against previous student submissions and against code that may be on the Web. These tools flag suspicious cases, which are then manually examined.'"

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall