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+ - In Advance Of Upcoming Steam Summer Sale, Valve Introduces Steam Refunds

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner writes: Despite all of its competition, Valve's Steam service remains the most popular digital PC game store around. While Steam does do a lot of things right, it can sometimes stumble in the worst of ways. Look no further than April's Skyrim mod debacle as a good example. Well, just as Valve fixed up that issue, it's gone ahead and fixed another: it's making refunds dead simple. While refunds have been possible in the past, it's required gamers to jump through hoops to get them. Now, Valve has set certain criteria, and if it's met, a refund will be granted, no questions asked — a definite step in the right direction.

+ - USA Freedom Act passes unamended, limiting NSA surveillance-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Today the US Senate passed the USA Freedom Act without amendments, signalling the start of the significant surveillance reform that has been called for since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the agency's activities. It had already been determined that the bulk collection of phone metadata was illegal, and the expiry of Section 215 of the Patriot Act at the end of May brought this data collection to an end anyway.

The USA Freedom Act sets in concrete the end of the phone data collection program and is seen as a major victory for privacy advocates. It will come as good news to Snowden himself who will undoubtedly feel a sense of relief that his risk-taking paid off. The bill is still to be signed into law by President Obama, but this is now little more than a formality.

Link to Original Source

+ - Senator proposes criminal charges against global warming skeptics

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) has proposed that racketeering charges be considered against fossil fuel companies who express skepticism about human-caused global warming and dare to disagree with any environmental regulations imposed based on this theory.

As he writes today in his Washington Post op-ed:

The fossil fuel industry, its trade associations and the conservative policy institutes that often do the industry's dirty work met at the Washington office of the American Petroleum Institute. A memo from that meeting that was leaked to the New York Times documented their plans for a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign to undermine climate science and to raise "questions among those (e.g. Congress) who chart the future U.S. course on global climate change."

Gee, industry skeptics of global warming wish to use their first amendment rights to debate the issue! How dare they! Worse, they might use money to finance their effort!

As noted at the first link, the idea that any disagreement with global warming advocacy should be criminalized is not a new thing, and has increasingly been advocated by that leftwing community. The Whitehouse is now tying this to the criminalization of the use of money to express that disagreement. This is nothing more than a fascist attempt at squelching freedom.

+ - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.


Link to Original Source

+ - Gates, Zuckerberg Promising Same Jobs to US Kids and Foreign H-1B Workers? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: Over at the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-bankrolled Code.org, they're using the number of open computing jobs in each state to convince parents of the need to expand K-12 CS offerings so their kids can fill those jobs. Sounds good, right? But at the same time, the Gates and Zuckerberg-bankrolled FWD.org PAC has taken to Twitter, using the number of open "STEM" jobs in each state to convince politicians of the need to expand the number of H-1B visas so foreign workers can fill those jobs. While the goal of Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy is to kill two birds [K-12 CS education and H-1B visas] with one crisis, is it cool for organizations backed by many of the same wealthy individuals to essentially promise the same jobs to U.S. kids and foreign H-1B workers?

Comment: Is MojoKid shilling for HotHardware allowed by /. (Score 5, Interesting) 72

by Aryeh Goretsky (#49702561) Attached to: A Look At GTA V PC Performance and Image Quality At 4K

Hello,

If one looks at MojoKid's submissions to Slashdot, one notes they exist exclusively of links to articles at HotHardware.Com, which according to the whois data, is registered to a Dave Altavilla of Mendon, MA.

Never to ActiveWin, Ars Technica, HardOCP, Neowin, TechReport, WinBeta or the scores of other web sites which discuss, review or "engage in coordinate PR disclosure" of technology news, but always to HotHardware, never anywhere else.

Are MojoKid and Mr. Altavilla the same person? And why is he (are they?) only posting links to Slashdot to HotHardware,a site which, coincidentally, seems to rely on links to partner.googleadservices.com, www.google-analytics.com/, cdn.taboola.com, tru.am and other advertising and privacy-invasive sites in order to monetize its page views. All these hostnames should be blocked in your hosts file before visiting any links to hothardware.com to ensure you are not being advertised to or tracked (which seem to be very similar, these days).

If MojoKid/Altavilla are going to use Slashdot to generate revenue for themselves, they should at least let Slashdot's management know and note in their submissions that they are sending Slashdotters to a site which they generate revenue from; to not do so is unethical and abusive of Slashdot.

And in case anyone wants to throw a stone at my glass house, I've submitted a grand total of one articles to Slashdot, and it mentioned a free service being offered through the auspices of the IEEE which not just my employer but dozens of our competitors were involved in. Not a single banner ad or privacy-invasive script to be had there at all.

Regards.

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:Big Data != toolset (Score 1) 100

by Bob9113 (#49687425) Attached to: Is Big Data Leaving Hadoop Behind?

Both Pointy Headed Bosses and Slashdot loooove talking about tools. As the posts generally show, both PHBs and Slashdoters have no clue about what Big Data is used for. It's all about the buzzwords and technology, not about use and utility. There are no references to any algorithms.

Heh. I've been doing big data since 2000. Fifteen years experience in a field that's five years old, I like to say. And let me say this: You nailed it. Your whole post, not just the part I quoted. I've used the tools, from Colt to R, and there is no substitute for the ability to analyze and match a business model, data system, algorithms, implementation, and business controls.

On the upside, give me (or, I'm guessing, you) a month or two to develop a big data strategy, and we'll generate large, measurable, improvement in the company's desired performance metric -- using whatever toolset the company is fawning over at the moment. It may not be what sells the PHBs, but it feeds the bulldog.

It is a shame, though, to see so many charlatans diverting so much revenue into ill-conceived projects. Alas.

+ - Security certification for an old grad?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I graduated in late 2003 during the tech bubble burst with a below 2.5 GPA. I am 35 with an interest in getting a security job. What are the chances that I would be just wasting my time and money? I am pursuing business interests with a patent used in a service that will be a prime target for hackers. I have been writing client/server software in an OpenBSD virtual machine for the security and the kqueue functionality; not to mention the rest of the virtual clients crash that I have tried. I figure that trying to sell the service idea, even if I can't get a job, when they ask what qualifies me to have such ideas, I can say I have the credentials. I just got issued the patent this year.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:More Bullshit (Score 1) 167

by Bob9113 (#49655689) Attached to: Texas Regulators Crack Down on App-Driven Hauling Service

I guess they better crack down on paying anyone with beer/food as well.

If it really is pay - or in legal terms, "consideration" - then it is covered by this law exactly the same as money. What you do with your friends is neither pay nor consideration. You give them beer and sandwiches when they help you out for free.

If you claim you don't get the distinction, I believe you are being intentionally obtuse. A judge or magistrate would not be so.

Comment: Re:Tiversa breached systems? (Score 4, Insightful) 65

by Bob9113 (#49648035) Attached to: Cybersecurity Company Extorted Its Clients, Says Whistleblower

LabMD may still have had a security problem worthy of investigation. But Tiversa's behavior is the subject of this criminal investigation. If Tiversa only blew the whistle on LabMD after they declined to purchase Tiversa's services, they are arguably engaged in racketeering, and should be prosecuted.

Comment: Black Pipe Shotgun Videos? (Score 1) 312

by Bob9113 (#49641081) Attached to: Defense Distributed Sues State Department Over 3-D Gun Censorship

After they outlaw disseminating the information on how to make an impractical, barely lethal 3D printed gun, are they going to try to stop videos about how to make highly lethal, highly effective, plumbing parts shotguns?

https://www.youtube.com/result...

Hammering plowshares into swords is almost as old as opposable thumbs.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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