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Crime

Court Rules Dungeons and Dragons Threatens Prison Security 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-want-to-cast-magic-missile dept.
KermodeBear writes "Dungeons and Dragons — originally Satan's Game — has now been found to encourage gang-like behavior. In a finding by a three judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, D&D 'can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof.' From the ruling: 'during D&D games, one player is denoted the "Dungeon Master." 'The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang.'"
Image

Cooking With Your USB Ports 188 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the sorry-your-dinner-crashed dept.
tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."

Comment: Re:From what I've heard, it really is that bad... (Score 2, Insightful) 673

by norton_I (#31972398) Attached to: Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

These conditions apparently don't show up enough to justify the cost of determining safe operating parameters. Therefore, no flying. It isn't really complicated -- if a bunch of airlines want to get together and pay for the testing, they can fly. Otherwise, they stay on the ground.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu Will Switch To Base-10 File Size Units In Future Release 984

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-above-the-belt dept.
CyberDragon777 writes "Ubuntu's future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on."
Movies

World's First Integrated Twin-Lens 3D Camcorder 162

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'll-call-it-shamdora dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Shooting in 3D has traditionally required a complex, bulky and fragile rig using two cameras and additional hardware to calibrate and adjust them. Panasonic's straight-forwardly-named Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder looks to radically change the 3D game, with integrated lenses and dual SDHC memory card slots allowing you to capture 3D footage immediately, with just one device." So there ya go, get started making your own Avatar.

Comment: Re:This is completely different (Score 1) 282

by norton_I (#30659982) Attached to: Does Cheap Tech Undermine Legal Privacy Protections?

I think that if the average person walking around had a 10% chance to be carrying a camera that could do thermal imaging, it would be hard to argue that you had a reasonable expectation of privacy and the police would probably be allowed to use it without a warrant.

If LIDAR cost 100k, I think the law enforcement would still be entitled to use it, but if FLIR cost $100 that would make a difference.

Comment: Re:"Thermal imaging devices" are not $50-150. (Score 1) 282

by norton_I (#30659762) Attached to: Does Cheap Tech Undermine Legal Privacy Protections?

Or, learn what you are talking about.

IR cameras and film detect NIR in the 800nm - 1.3 micron range. Your stove heating element that is glowing a dim red will light up brightly in such a device, but it is completely useless for this type of application. IR thermometers and thermal imaging systems for the 0-100F range use much longer wavelengths, around 10 microns.

Note that you can't even make IR film that is any good at thermal wavelengths because it would get exposed sitting in a box. The film would have to be prepared, stored, used, and developed in a cryogenic environment. This may have been done (perhaps for IR astronomy), but you obviously can't just buy a roll of 35mm "thermal" film and pop it in a nikon.

Security

Hackers vs. Phishers 137

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the better-than-predator-vs-alien dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Some hackers out there don't like to do all the hard work of running a successful phishing campaign. Instead, they developed a simple online service to 'steal' account details from the hard-working phishers. Named AutoWhaler, the service allows anyone to scan a phishing server for log files that contain juicy information such as usernames and passwords."

Comment: Re:openfiler (Score 1) 206

by norton_I (#30345710) Attached to: FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux

Openfiler's web gui is buggy as hell, its local LDAP server option is poorly documented and provides terrible diagnostic messages when improperly configured, and it has no official support for installing/booting from flash. Never trust a product that wants to charge money for the admin guide.

I only tried FreeNAS briefly, and did end up using openfiler, but I would love to see anything beat openfiler.

Comment: Re:No because they are different (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by norton_I (#29774275) Attached to: Apple's Grand Central Dispatch Ported To FreeBSD

GCD is a mechanism to let one central authority dispatch threads across multiple cores, for all running applications (including the OS).

This is what most people talk about, and what is most obvious from the name, but it is not the interesting part of GCD.

The interesting part of GCD is blocks and tasks, and it is useful to the extent which it makes expressing parallelism more convenient to the programmer.

The "central management of OS threads" is marketing speak for a N-M scheduler with an OS wide limit on the number of heavyweight threads. This is only useful because OS X has horrendous per-thread overhead. On Linux, for instance, the correct answer is usually to create as many threads as you have parallel tasks and let the OS scheduler sort it out. Other operating systems (Solaris, Windows) have caught up to Linux on this front, but apparently not OS X. If you can get the overhead of OS threads down to an acceptable level, it is always better to avoid multiple layers of scheduling.

Comment: Re:Its been done for years already (Score 5, Informative) 711

by norton_I (#29243603) Attached to: Apple Kicks HDD Marketing Debate Into High Gear

So we've had a defined standard that was, arguably, not the easiest to understand. THEN harddrive manufacturers started their fraud. And THEN people started complaining. So what, and please think about this, would be the right decision here?

This is revisionist at best and really just wrong. Despite all "wisdom" to the contrary, there has never been a universal acceptance of 1 MB = 2^20 bytes on computers. For instance, all of IBMs mainframe hard drives from the 60s and 70s were sold using base-10 prefixes. Early desktop hard drives from the 80s used both. I think the ST506 used base-2, but some other models used base-10. All networking and communications standards (ethernet, modems, PCI, SATA...) use base 10 prefixes for MB/s and Mbit/s. 3.5" floppy disks used NASA-style units where 1 MB = 10^3*2^10. Even while RAM is still almost always measured in base-2 units (due to manufacturing issues making it much easier to produce in power-of-2 sizes -- something which is not true for hard drives) the speed of the memory bus on your CPU is still measured in base-10 units.

It is a *good* idea to have K and M mean the same thing everywhere. A system where a 1 GB/s link transfers 0.93 GB every second is stupid. This is especially important as computers are being used in more and more environments. Should a 1 megapixel camera mean 2^20 pixels? What about CDs with a 44.1 KHz sampling rate?

Security

Torpig Botnet Hijacked and Dissected 294

Posted by timothy
from the why-would-you-want-to-get-rid-of-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara have hijacked the infamous Torpig botnet for 10 days. They have released a report (PDF) that describes how that was done and the data they collected. They observed more than 180K infected machines (this is the number of actual bots, not just IP addresses), collected 70GB of data stolen by the Torpig trojan, extracted almost 10K bank accounts and credit card numbers worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in the underground market, and examined the privacy threats that this trojan poses to its victims. Considering that Torpig has been around at least since 2006, isn't it time to finally get rid of it?"

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