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Comment: Re:link (Score 1) 164

by zaren (#46840345) Attached to: Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You

The "password hacking attempt" at the bottom of the page had me concerned for a moment, but after seeing that it was just iterating common words found on my FB page with random l33tsp34k, I stopped worrying. I liked how they labeled one of my best friends (best man at my wedding) and my god daughter as stalking targets. I wasn't that impressed with the site.

Comment: Re:but it's never been seen in the wild (Score 1) 300

by zaren (#40781169) Attached to: New Mac Trojan Installs Silently, No Password Required

Maybe you should look closer at the part about it being a proof of concept bug created by the antivirus company that's reporting it? This makes at least the second time in recent time that this company has done this - go out of their way to come up with an exploit, and then dump a press release to warn everyone about it and brag about how they were the first to update their antivirus software to combat it.

Actually, this company's been sending up false flags on the Mac side since at least 2004 - see - so I wouldn't trust them any farther than I could comfortably spit out a rat.

Comment: Re:eMacs? (Score 1) 248

Wow. I was part of the team that installed these machines back in 2005. I'm shocked that they're still in service. They were dinosaurs years ago. Obsolete hardware, no way to run current software, like web browsers - yes, I said browsers. This is PowerPC hardware in those eMacs. Nobody writes plug-in or browsers to support that architecture any more. And if they're doing any sort of networked storage, they have to pull the PowerPC-based (and no longer supported) XServes as well... gonna be spendy.

Comment: Features? (Score 3, Insightful) 416

by onion2k (#34268230) Attached to: Woz Says Android Will Dominate

Woz is arguing that it's the featureset that will lead Android to victory. I don't agree. Features don't sell the phones. So long as it covers all the most common bases the extra stuff is just nice to have, it's not a key decision point. Any smartphone could become dominant at the moment so long as it has a good interface, looks ok, gives the user access to the software they want and, crucially, is marketed well enough. Even if iOS lags behind on features Apple won't be lagging behind on marketing. It's what they're good at, and ultimately it's what will keep them on top.

Comment: Re:Well, duh (Score 4, Informative) 521

by onion2k (#34146306) Attached to: Americans Less Healthy, But Outlive Brits

It's called ale, and it's supposed to be served warm (room temperature, as opposed to chilled). It actually tastes of something. It has substance. That's why we like it. In fact, this reminds me of a joke.

Why is American beer like sex in a canoe?
Because it's fucking close to water.

It's funny because it's true. ;)

Comment: 2 billion... (Score 4, Interesting) 270

by onion2k (#33844026) Attached to: US Monitoring Database Reaches Limit, Quits Tracking Felons and Parolees

Assuming that's a normal "US" billion, and assuming it's a journal of historical data going back a few years, I don't think it's unreasonable to think there could be information in there on a couple of hundred thousand people each of whom has been track for an average of at least 6 months. So, approximately and with some guesses, that's around 55 records per prisoner per day. 1 update every 30 minutes? That sounds about right, maybe a little on the low side if anything.

What is surprising is that they were running some sort of database process that maxxed out at 2 billion records, and that it just stopped once it hit that limit rather than failing over to a backup process. But then, this is a government IT contract, so maybe it's not too surprising.

Comment: Re:25 years is permanent? (Score 3, Informative) 241

by zaren (#33787808) Attached to: 15-Year-Old Boy Fitted With Robotic Heart

Yes, I believe you missed the part where the disease he has causes the muscles in his body to stop working. It's a fairly safe bet the muscles that work his lungs or digestive system... or pretty much any other part of his body... will stop working before this heart fails. Someone with this disease is "lucky" to make it to twenty.


Game Reviewers Face Odd Bribery From Publishers 148

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stranger-than-fiction dept.
eldavojohn writes "You might be used to the idea that game reviewers receive games free and ahead of time, but Ars opens up a darker side to the mystery box. Like a $200 check from Dante's Inferno, reading, 'by cashing this check you succumb to avarice by hoarding filthy lucre, but by not cashing it, you waste it, and thereby surrender to prodigality.' Or how about a huge-ass sword from Darksiders. Or brass knuckles (illegal in some states) from the makers of Mafia II. Or rancid, rotting meat mixed with spent shell casings, teeth, broken glasses and dog tags from Bulletstorm. NCSoft gave out flight suits and trips to weightlessness. Nintendo apparently likes to send all manner of food, including elaborate cakes shaped as their consoles and games. Squeeballs sent a crate of stuffed animals. iPods from Activision and Zunes from Microsoft seem to be pretty tame bait for reviewers ... but there's one reason why this continues to happen: more news-starved review sites and blogs report on the extras and the publisher's game gets spread around just a wee bit more. Even if it is as freakish as bracelets from an insane asylum spattered with blood." I think we must be doing it wrong around here... we usually can't even get games before the release date, much less get free rotting meat.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun