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Submission + - Battlefield 4 DRM Locking Part Of North America Out Of Its Release Date.

An anonymous reader writes: On the whole, Battlefield 4 had a reasonable launch. The have clearly learned from their past experiences with Battlefield 3 and, more notably, SimCity. Still, some customers are unable to access the game (until presumably October 30th at 7PM EDT, 39 hours after launch) because they are incorrectly flagged by region-locking. Do regional release dates help diminish all the work EA has been putting into Origin with their refund policy and live technical support? Should they just take our money and deliver the service before we change our minds?

Submission + - Samsung Smart Kit: Wireless Zigbee Controlled LED Light Bulbs, Android App

An anonymous reader writes: The Apple store has offered wireless LED bulbs for over a year now courtesy of a partnership with Philips Hue. Now, thanks to a recent FCC filing, we know Samsung is jumping into the illumination game with wireless LED bulbs of their own. "Samsung Smart Kit is a lighting management solution that allows you to control LED bulbs in your house using your Android smartphone. Now you can easily turn lights on and off and change the ambiance in your living space with a touch of your finger." The kit will include 3 LED Bulbs (white) and 1 Ethernet to Zigbee Bridge.

Submission + - Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth wins Austria's Big Brother Award (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: Austria’s Big Brother Awards has picked Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth for the coveted Big Brother Award for their online extension to local searches. In times like these when spying by these two countries is becoming such a huge concerned there are companies like ownCloud and Kolab Systems which are building technologies to protect users from surveillance states. At the same time it’s unfortunate to see that Canonical is going in an opposite direction by building a system which will make it easier for NSA and GCHQ to reach the hard drives of users.

Submission + - The Telegraph Says Coding Is For Exceptionally Dull Weirdos (i-programmer.info) 1

mikejuk writes: The UK Government is trying to figure out how to teach children to code by changing what is taught in schools. The Telegraph, a leading UK newspaper, has put the other side of the case — Coding is for "exceptionally dull weirdo(s)"
The recent blog post
  by Willard Foxton is an amazing insight into the world of the non-programming mind.
He goes on to say:
"Coding is a niche, mechanical skill, a bit like plumbing or car repair."
So coding is a mechanical skill — I guess he must be thinking of copy typing.
"As a subject, it only appeals to a limited set of people – the aforementioned dull weirdos. There’s a reason most startup co-founders are “the charming ideas guy” paired with “the tech genius”. It’s because if you leave the tech genius on his own he’ll start muttering to himself."
Why is it I feel a bout of muttering coming on?
"If a school subject is to be taught to everyone, it needs to have a vital application in everyday life – and that’s just not true of coding."
Of course it all depends on what you mean by "vital application".
The article is reactionary and designed to get people annoyed and posting comments — just over 600 at the moment- but what is worrying is that the viewpoint will ring true with anyone dumb enough not to be able to see the bigger picture. The same attitude extends not just to programming but to all STEM subjects. The next step in the argument is — why teach physics, chemistry, biology and math (as distinct from arithmetic) to any but exceptionally dumb weirdos.


Submission + - The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: There is a relatively miniscule patch to the Linux kernel scheduler being queued up for Linux 2.6.38 that is proving to have dramatic results for those multi-tasking on the desktop. Phoronix is reporting the ~200 line Linux kernel patch that does wonders with before and after videos demonstrating the much-improved responsiveness and interactivity of the Linux desktop. While compiling the Linux kernel with 64 parallel jobs, 1080p video playback was still smooth, windows could be moved fluidly, and there was not nearly as much of a slowdown compared to when this patch was applied. Linus Torvalds has shared his thoughts on this patch: So I think this is firmly one of those "real improvement" patches. Good job. Group scheduling goes from "useful for some specific server loads" to "that's a killer feature".

Considering a Fair Penalty For Illegal File-sharing 728

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt, following up on yesterday's announcement of the 1.5 million dollar verdict against Jammie Thomas: "This week a federal jury handed down the verdict in the third file-sharing trial against a Minnesota mother of four who has been fighting against the charges brought by the RIAA since 2005. Understandably, a lot of people are outraged by this verdict and while reading through comments about the fine on some online forums, I saw some interesting opinions on how these fines should be assessed. The point that $62,500 per song is excessively high seems to be something that everyone can agree on, but what actually is fair seems to be a big point of contention."

EPIC Files Lawsuit To Suspend Airport Body Scanner Use 559

nacturation writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a petition for review and motion for an emergency stay, urging the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to suspend the Transportation Security Administration's full body scanner program. EPIC said that the program is 'unlawful, invasive, and ineffective' (PDF). EPIC argued that the federal agency has violated the Administrative Procedures Act, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Fourth Amendment. EPIC cited the invasive nature of the devices, the TSA's disregard of public opinion, and the impact on religious freedom."

Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987 146

nacturation writes "Three years before Photoshop 1.0 was released, computer engineers in the USSR were already retouching photographs using some surprisingly advanced technology. A video shows how the Soviets went about restoring damaged images with the help of rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and trackballs. No word on whether this technology was used to fake moon landings or put missiles in Cuba." Photo manipulation in the USSR (and elsewhere) had a pretty good jump on computers, though.

New Photos Show 'Devastating' Ice Loss On Everest 895

Simmeh writes "The BBC reports on new photos of the Himalayas taken from exactly the same position as ones from 1929 and compares the ice coverage. The Asia Society, which did the groundwork, are quoted as saying, 'If the present rate of melting continues, many of these glaciers will be severely diminished by the middle of this century.' I guess the previous claim wasn't too unrealistic."

Swedish Pirate Party To Run Pirate Bay From Parliament 288

rdnetto sends in this clip from TorrentFreak. To pursue these plans the Pirate Party needs to win 4% of the seats in Parliament in an election coming up in September. "After their former hosting provider received an injunction telling it to stop providing bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, the worlds most resilient BitTorrent site switched to a new ISP. That host, the Swedish Pirate Party, made a stand on principle. Now they aim to take things further by running the site from inside the Swedish Parliament. ... The party has announced today that they intend to use part of the Swedish Constitution to further these goals, specifically Parliamentary Immunity from prosecution or lawsuit for things done as part of their political mandate. They intend to push the non-commercial sharing part of their manifesto, by running The Pirate Bay from inside the Parliament, by Members of Parliament."

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN