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Comment Re:Messaging? (Score 4, Informative) 199

It's Jabber, but without the hassle of account creation. Username is automatically set up as your phone number, and password is your IMEI or something.

So it's about as secure as SMS, but also as practical for technophobes. It's free of charge and allows much more data than SMS (file transfer of pics etc.), which is why people use it.

Comment Re:You might smuggle the gun.. (Score 1) 712

If you've got access to propellant it'd often be better to build a Kirk-style blunderbuss out of strong pre-formed tube. It's hard to imagine a situation where you have access to a 3D printer and appropriate plastic, AND happen to have a couple of small-calibre low pressure bullets, but I'm sure there are edge cases where this will do nicely.

Comment Re:Where have I seen this before? (Score 1) 94

Well it's funny, there was a horde of people suggesting more basic versions of John's warping techniques in the comments section to Michael's blog post. They were all dismissed because he felt the silhouetting John talked about was too much of a deal-breaker for realism. John's experiments seem to suggest otherwise, so it'll be interesting to see two competitive headsets using different sets of tricks to try to fool peoples' sense of realism.

Comment Re:science or tech (Score 1) 168

I personally think CS education is sorely lacking in primary school age kids, but at that age it's got nothing to do with computers. Just teaching kids basic logic (you can do it formally or in the form of logic jokes and riddles for the kids that learn in different ways) goes a long way to setting them up for CS and other sciences, but it's also a valuable mental tool to have when you start getting affected by politics, propaganda, and marketing in the real world

Comment Re:how can the stalwarts of gaming keep up? (Score 1) 349

Rural areas. Dialup and satellite internet suck in this application. 3G? Unless one has a large data cap or uses their console infrequently.

A "preloaded USB stick" service would be nice from an internet-only store, say if they could do an 8GB stick for $5 and you have the game within a week. You'd still need the dialup connection to decrypt the USB stick files and install to your console, but if you're on dialup you're not going to be playing multiplayer over Internet, so you can safely tell your console not to attempt to update whenever a patch is pushed.

Comment Re:Fuck secure boot. (Score 1) 274

If you follow the money, it's actually about protecting IT from corporate users. No more, no less. You don't need a conspiracy to explain it when a billion dollar problem is staring you in the face.

Then why is Microsoft signing a "click OK to continue" shim that allows corporate users to install their own "untrusted" OS onto a system that only trusts the Microsoft key? Does MS have a more restrictive key that can be installed manually by IT departments? If so, could that be part of an evil plan to then get it onto generic vendor machines?

Comment Re:ARM Linux Netbook finally arrives? (Score 1) 230

Would you trust a vendor preinstall of a desktop linux distro? Standard practice for Windows power users is to put down a clean install of the OS over whatever the vendor preinstalled, for power users I'd be happy with doing this for GNU/Linux distros even when the system comes with some flavour of Linux-based OS.

ChromeOS provides a set-and-forget OS that avoids the Microsoft tax and works for the non-power-user. As long as there's a supported method of reinstalling an unsigned OS (previous iterations of Chromebook have had this, but it's always something to watch for), that should be suitable for the power user to reinstall over.

In the magical future when there's big commercial support for users on desktop GNU/Linux, then it will be important for vendors to preinstall a desktop-grade OS, but not now. ChromeOS devices should become cheaper and cheaper, not more and more powerful for the same price.

Comment Re:This is what Microsoft wants (Score 2) 244

This is actually a good point - Microsoft have gone through decades of pain being the target of malware, have suffered through it, and at this point have something of an immune system developed with Security Essentials and the ecosystem of third-party anti-malware. It's definitely an advantage over Apple, whether or not it's the best way to go.

The Courts

How the Inventors of Dragon Speech Recognition Technology Lost Everything 606

First time accepted submitter cjsm writes "James and Janet Baker were the inventors of Dragon Systems' speech recognition software, and after years of work, they created a multimillion dollar company. At the height of the tech boom, with investment offers rolling in, they turned to Goldman Sachs for financial advice. For a five million dollar fee, Goldman hooked them up with Lernout & Hauspie, the Belgium speech recognition company. After consultations with Goldman Sachs, the Bakers traded their company for $580 million in Lernout & Hauspie stock. But it turned out Lernout & Hauspie was involved in cooking their books and went bankrupt. Dragon was sold in a bankruptcy auction to Scansoft, and the Bakers lost everything. Goldman and Sachs itself had decided against investing in Lernout & Hauspie two years previous to this because they were lying about their Asian sales. The Bakers are suing for one billion dollars."

Comment Re:Hack your phone (Score 2) 145

Of course, there are issues of UK police forcing you to hand over the encription keys (they have a legal right to do that in UK).

What would be nice is an encryption setup mode where you have your password/authentication plus 4k of random data (like a big salt). When you set up the encryption or subsequently boot the system decrypted, it regenerates the random data and re-encrypts the internal final decryption key with your password+new random salt. When you shut the phone down normally, the salt is saved in cleartext and you're ready to go upon next boot, but if you yank the battery or shut down in "panic mode", the salt isn't saved and the phone is unrecoverable by you or anybody else. If you're worried about losing data, you could also have "saved salt" as the default mode, and the only way to render the device unusable would be to shut it down in some sort of "panic mode"

Comment Re:No more Unity 2D? (Score 5, Informative) 230

Unity3D will still be usable without GPU acceleration, it will use a new software implementation of OpenGL called llvmpipe. llvmpipe is a much better software rasteriser than we've traditionally had, but it's still software which means it's significantly slower than even the simplest of hardware OpenGL implementations.

Comment Re:The easy way (Score 5, Informative) 140

Even with the best of tools and setups, pure streaming is not always an option. My synology NAS barfs on .mp4s sometimes.

Your NAS doing DLNA is doing more than a NAS needs to. XBMC happily supports connecting to Samba or SFTP shares within the application, or you could just use NFS and attach the NAS share to the local filesystem. If a NAS cares about what type of file it's sending over a plain filesystem access protocol like that it's a broken NAS.

Happiness is a hard disk.

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