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Comment: Re:Programming games for kids (Score 1) 527

by bartle (#36546220) Attached to: Why Johnny Can't Code and How That Can Change
Agentsheets (the subject of the article) is actually pretty good. The coding is almost completely drag n' drop and each of the agents processes its code in parallel. The result is I think more intuitive for a mind that is not trained in computer logic. Unfortunately the product is being produced by grad students which (at least in this case) means that it's overpriced and not terribly well coded. I kinda wish they had just sold the idea to Hasbro or something - it would be running on the iPad by now.

Comment: Re:Isn't that just a network? (Score 3, Interesting) 258

by bartle (#33681468) Attached to: NSA Chief Wants Internet Partitioned For Government, 'Critical' Industries
This idea of a nationwide secure network has never made much sense to me. Creating a secure network in a small organization is pretty easy but creating one that links many public and private enterprises sounds like a disaster. Gaps will inevitably appear but worse it creates a real target for someone who wishes to create harm.

+ - Amateur radio in the backcountry? 1

Submitted by bartle
bartle (447377) writes "I currently spend a lot of time hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Cell phone reception is very unreliable and I'm curious if carrying a small amateur radio would make any sense at all. I don't want to add too much weight to my pack so I'm uninterested in carrying a radio that weighs much more than a pound; from what I gather this would give me at best 5 to 10 watts of transmitting power. I have no idea if this is enough to be effective in a mountainous region, I'm hoping some experienced Slashdot hams could give me a clue.

I'm only interested in acquiring a radio and license if it is a lot more effective and reliable than the cell phone I already carry. Otherwise I'm probably better off just waiting for Globalstar to bring back their duplex service and buy a next generation SPOT messaging device. I know some Slashdotters will want to suggest a modern SPOT or Personal Locator Beacon; these are suitable for the worst kinds of emergency but I'll point out that reliable communication can help prevent small crises from becoming big ones.

I don't expect anyone to be able to answer this question spot on but I bet there are a few Slashdotters out there with experiences they can share. Are small, amateur radios effective in the field or are vehicle rigs really the only way to go? Or am I just best off waiting for satellite?"

Comment: Re:Heading this off--see link to juror (Score 4, Insightful) 418

by bartle (#32023630) Attached to: Rough Justice For Terry Childs
Exactly. Quoting from this post on Slashdot:

As to these configuration backups, Mr. Childs kept these on a DVD he kept with him at all times. Furthermore, this DVD was encrypted and could only be decrypted using his laptop (as the encryption program required not only a password, but access to a specific file that existed on the laptop).

Can these actions be defended as anything other than job security? Unless someone has reason to think that BengalsUF is getting the story wrong, why is there so much popular defense for this guy?

Comment: Re:Perhaps a buy one donate several model? (Score 2, Interesting) 413

by bartle (#31407100) Attached to: Disposable Toilet To Change the World
A cat-hole is not always an option, depending on where you go and the season. The current expectation is that in these situations all hikers will pack their excrement out. I've observed that most people are fine with packing out trash but draw the line at feces. I think a lot of people would be fine with carrying in a little extra weight if they could minimize their interaction with their own stool.

Comment: Re:Good but overrated (Score 1) 37

by bartle (#26473195) Attached to: <em>Braid</em>, Games As Art, and Interpretation
In general I agree with you. As a puzzle game it is outstanding but the story just leaves players dazed and confused. I've read some Blow interviews and various interpretations and the game, while very well thought out, simply does not intend to lead the player to a specific outcome. Blow used every literary device in the book but in the end couldn't make a single recognizable point.

It makes me sad that the final level has one of the most brilliant videogame twists I've ever seen but ultimately it leads nowhere. If only the game had solidly been about a man reconciling a lost relationship with no mention of the Manhattan Project.

Security

+ - Gov. Palin prefers Yahoo email

Submitted by
bartle
bartle writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin regularly uses Yahoo email instead of Alaskan government servers. This became relevant when requests were made for official email and it was learned that most of her email sits on Yahoo servers, out of reach of open records laws.

Palin also routinely does government business from a Yahoo address, gov.sarah@yahoo.com, rather than her secure official state e-mail address, according to documents already made public. "Whoops!" Palin aide Frank Bailey wrote, after addressing an e-mail to the governor's official state address. "Frank, This is not the Governor's personal account," a secretary reminded him.

"

Comment: Likely a feature (Score 5, Interesting) 277

by bartle (#23497906) Attached to: Coding Flaws Caused Moody's Debt Rating Errors
This doesn't explain how Standard and Poor's arrived at the same ratings. One possible explanation is that Moody's code was initially correct but they introduced the "bug" to make sure they were providing the same valuations as S&P.

In any case, it sounds like they found a new scapegoat and they're going to take it for a test ride.

The Military

+ - Robot Cannon Kills 9, Injures 14-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An auto-targeting, auto-reloading cannon goes out of control during a South African military drill — killing 9 soldiers, and wounding 14 more. Officials can't figure out whether to blame jammed hardware, software glitches... or the start of the robot uprising. One thing's for sure: it's not the first time robo-weapons have started acting dangerously odd."
Link to Original Source
PC Games (Games)

+ - PC owners get Bioshock, draconian new DRM system->

Submitted by igorthefiend
igorthefiend (831721) writes "Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/gaming/more-bioshock-shock/) and others (http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t =5527) are reporting that the PC version of Bioshock is loaded with new DRM from Securom which limits users to just two installs.

2K are saying that if users come up against the limit they should contact Securom — but Securom are referring people back to 2K according to NoFrag. http://www.nofrag.com/images/00311b.jpg

Where does this leave the doctrine of first sale? Is this ushering in a new era of restrictive protection on AAA titles?"

Link to Original Source
Communications

+ - Developer of Reverse Directories Dead at 87->

Submitted by
Pcol
Pcol writes "Reverse directories, listing residents sorted by address and phone number, are invaluable to detectives, debt collectors, telemarketers and anyone who needs to find someone. Although the first reverse directories were compiled in the 1780s by trudging door to door, recording the residents of every building on every block, what IBM sales representative Jack Cole did, starting in 1947, was to streamline the process, using punch cards to turn an ordinary telephone book into what today would be called a searchable database. Cole hired typists to keyboard the entire Dallas telephone book onto punch cards. Directories for other cities soon followed, with Mr. Cole drawing on census records, tax rolls and other data to supplement the information in the phone book. As cellular phones have become more popular, there has been debate about releasing cell phone numbers into public 411 and reverse number directories. Right now, cell phone numbers are not available in any reverse-number directories. However, several information companies provide reverse cell phone lookups that are obtained from utility resources, and are available online."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Estonia's Cyber-war

Submitted by
bartle
bartle writes "Slate is running an article on the brief but significant attack that Estonia suffered recently.

Since late April, the Web sites of various Estonian government entities, banks, and media outlets have been barraged with extraordinary amounts of Web traffic (100 times more than usual), making them very slow and even unusable. The Estonian government has identified as-yet-unknown rogue Russian hackers and the Kremlin as participants in these denial-of-service attacks. Russia has firmly denied these charges."
The Internet

+ - Disaster recovery

Submitted by moogoogaipan
moogoogaipan (970221) writes "After a few days thinking about the quickest way to bring my website back to the internet users, I am still stuck at DNS. From experience, even if I set the TTL for my DNS zone file as low as 5 mins, there are still DNS servers out there won't update until a few days later(yeah you, AOL). Here is my situation. Say, I have my web servers and database servers at a remote backup location. They are ready to serve. So my question for ./ers is that if we get hit by an earthquake at our main location, what can I do in a few hours to get everyone to go to our backup location?"
Security

+ - Hard drive snafu has NBA star suing, fuming

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "All basketball player Bruce Bowen wanted was his hard drive fixed. What he got apparently is an invasion of privacy and a big mess. The Smoking Gun Website says the San Antonio Spurs forward hired a Texas company to fix but instead the repair company removed the machine's hard drive and sold the item — which contained confidential personal and financial information — to another customer. Bowen is now seeking over $2 million in damages from Computer Nerdz, the San Antonio company used to repair his Gateway computer. http://www.networkworld.com/community3/?q=node/147 53"

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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