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Facebook Ordered To End Its Real Name Policy In Germany 471

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the semi-anonymous-cowards dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a blow to Facebook's policy banning accounts under pseudonyms. From the article: "A German privacy regulator ordered Facebook to stop enforcing its real name policy because it violates a German law that gives users the right to use nicknames online. 'We believe the orders are without merit, a waste of German taxpayers' money and we will fight it vigorously,' a Facebook spokeswoman said in an emailed statement."

Comment: Re:Got both problems right the first try... (Score 1) 337

by bergelin (#40310799) Attached to: Why Smart People Are Stupid

Ultimately, I think that the reason people make those mistakes is not because they are naturally irrational, but because they simply have not had enough practice at those types of math problems.

I think so as well and the same is true for IQ-test to some extent. I know people who've been doing them daily for long periods of time, and by doing so raising their IQ-point by tens (from ~100 to 120-130). It's true that intelligent people tend to have a logical reasoning that's better than average, but these kinds of problems are easy to be thought and I think one develops a reasoning suitable for solving them by doing so (sort of like crosswords). I also suspect smarter individuals are more sure of their abilities, thereby answering quicker making them prone to simple mistakes.

Comment: Re:I can vouch for that. (Score 1) 337

by bergelin (#40310617) Attached to: Why Smart People Are Stupid

I've noticed that the more "smart" a person is (by several definitions; see below), the more easily he/she can convince him/herself--and others--of incorrect things.

This is very true. People of high intelligence are often very capable of constructing complex arguments to reinforce and rationalize their beliefs. I saw this in action when visiting an american forum for literalist Christians (those who read the bible literally, word for word). I expected the members to be sub-intelligent and borderline-illiterate (yes, I was certainly guilty of prejudice), but the opposite were true - most were writing extremely well. Huge post arguing the validity of their faith with very complex arguments, though filled with logical fallacies and misconstructed facts. I was amazed by their creativity and ability to argue ridiculous claims with total certainty and literacy. It's truly fascinating how far some will go to reinforce their beliefs, and smart people are often very skilled at it. The combination of complicated arguments, heavy language and the absolute certainty of the person making the claims, is probably often enough to convince less clever individuals.

Comment: Re:aka Idiot tax (Score 4, Informative) 196

by bergelin (#40200505) Attached to: US Warns Users of Child-Porn Blackmail Ransomware
A translator of Manga comics recently got convicted of child pornography in the district court and the court of appeal in Sweden. This picture (nothing nasty really) was judged as child pornography by the district court, but was cleared in appeal. He was still found guilty in appeal though, but for other pictures. The case is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.
The defendant is not a child abuser by any means, and in all likelihood hasn't got any pedophilic tendencies. He's just a fan of Japanese comics and owns a huge collection of those.
Government

Iranian Military Says It's Copying US Drone 350

Posted by timothy
from the so-it's-sort-of-a-buzzing-noise dept.
New submitter skipkent writes "Iran's military has started to build a copy of a U.S. surveillance drone captured last year after breaking the software encryption, Iranian media reported on Sunday. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, said engineers were in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, which came down in December near the Afghan border, Mehr news agency reported."
Piracy

+ - Megaupload CEO was #1 at Modern Warfare->

Submitted by dotarray
dotarray (1747900) writes "Following his arrest, Dotcom’s increasingly “weird” double life of Kim Dotcom, the founder and CEO of troubled filesharing site MegaUpload has come into the spotlight. Sure, the larger-than-life character was on the FBI’s list of the most-wanted digital content pirates – but it turns out he was also pretty good at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, ranking #1 for Kills and #1 in leaderboards, worldwide."
Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - Iranian Programmer Sentenced to Death->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Even with SOPA/PIPA, we forget how good we have it. An Iranian citizen has been sentenced to death for developing a piece of software that ended up running on a porn site. His crime? Insulting the sanctity of Islam. The worst part? He didn’t even know that the porn site was using his software."
Link to Original Source
Linux

+ - An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Next month at FOSDEM there will be an announcement of a fully open-source and reverse-engineered ARM Mali graphics driver for Android / Linux. This driver, according to Phoronix, is said to support OpenGL ES and other functionality from reverse engineering the official ARM Linux driver. Will this mark a change for open-source graphics drivers on ARM, just as the Radeon did for x86 Linux?"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout->

Submitted by intellitech
intellitech (1912116) writes "Yesterday, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made."
Link to Original Source

Comment: SL4A is great (Score 1) 783

by bergelin (#38501806) Attached to: Why Can't We Put a BASIC On the Phone?

I've been using the Scripting Layer for Android to code a small python app. It uses the voice recognition and speech synthesizer to do do things like read the weather for me, and connect via socket to my home computer where I have a server running to execute some commands like playing music and such.
It work great! The entire python standard library is included and some things like Twister works as well.

The Android API is not entirely fully fledged, but I've been able to access all functions I want (sensors, speech, build menus among other things). If you need full control and access to all API-functions though, java is the only way to go.

I could't imagine why you would want to use BASIC instead of Python. If for some reason you dislike Python, you've got Ruby, Perl, Shell and more.

Comment: This is pretty old news here in Sweden by now (Score 5, Informative) 182

by bergelin (#37417644) Attached to: Famous Wildlife Photographer Busted For Using Stock Images

This is pretty old news here in Sweden by now. He won the prize of wildlife photographer of the year and has held several courses, so I'm pretty sure he cashed in on this.

When the accusations started, he said that he was completely innocent and a lot of people believed him thanks to his reputation (one of the most - if not the most famous - wildlife photographers in Sweden.) However, he wouldn't show the raw pictures which added on to the suspicions.
A large "investigation" started on internet forums and eventually people found the original pictures of animals that he had pasted onto his pictures. Like http://a.yey.nu/QHL7RE.jpgfor example (mirror reversed). This forced him to admit of course.

The funny thing is that he has been outspoken against editing of photos and said never to use Photoshop on his images: "I'm a photographer, not a pixel artist".

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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