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Comment this is not an accurate history (Score 1) 338

I do not know anything about the Outbox startup other than what is presented in the linked article, but I do know that this is not an accurate representation of the approach of the Post Office to electronic mail. They considered a system almost exactly like this in the late 1970s. It was called E-Com, and it allowed users to send letters electronically from office to office. The letters were then printed out and delivered.

The Post Office might have its flaws, but from the 1792 Post Office Act to the present, it has actually been an important contributor to the information infrastructure of the United States. This article reads like a press release from the start-up in question.


Submission Jail Looms for Man Who Revealed AT&T Leaked iPad User E-Mails->

concealment writes: "AT&T screwed up in 2010, serving up the e-mail addresses of over 110,000 of its iPad 3G customers online for anyone to find. But today Andrew Auernheimer, an online activist who pointed out AT&T’s blunder to Gawker Media, which went on to publicize the breach of private information, is the one in federal court this week.

Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) worry that should that charge succeed it will become easy to criminalize many online activities, including work by well-intentioned activists looking for leaks of private information or other online security holes. Weev’s case hasn’t received much attention so far, but should he be found guilty this week it will likely become well known, fast."

Link to Original Source

Comment Chess-players, puzzle-solvers, and programmers (Score 1) 672

There is apparently a long history of the use of aptitude tests in the selection of programmers. From a 1965 article in Datamation on programmer recruitment: "Creativity is a major attribute of technically oriented people," suggested one representative profile. "Look for those who like intellectual challenge rather than interpersonal relations or managerial decision-making. Look for the chess player, the solver of mathematical puzzles." There is a little piece from the "computer boys" history site above has some funny images from this period.


Best Way To Sell a Game Concept? 250

dunng808 writes "If a couple of young, game-crazy guys wanted to get started designing a game with the intention of selling the concept, how should they proceed? In the music industry they would make a demo MP3. In the film industry they would write a script (and I would recommend lyx with the hollywood document class). Should they develop some sample game play with a well-known engine? Is the one in Blender good enough? This somewhat dated list suggests it is. Or should they focus on textual descriptions and static scenes made with Blender and the GIMP? Is there even a market, let alone a convention, for selling game concepts?"

Comment Project Gaydar (Score 1) 171

A lot of replies to this seem to be dismissing it as irrelevant. Yes, social networks are not private. But determining aspects of your identity that you yourself do not choose to post can have serious implications. Project Gaydar at MIT showed that it was possible to determine sexual orientation via social networks. In many parts of the world, including the US, this matters. As might information about what preexisting medical conditions you might have...

Comment From 1959: "How no-talent singers get 'talent'" (Score 1) 437

From a 1959 article describing "How no-talent singers get 'talent'":

"Recording techniques have become so ingenious that almost anyone can seem to be a singer. A small, flat voice can be souped up by emphasizing the low frequencies and piping the result through an echo chamber. A slight speeding up a the recording tape can bring a brighter, happier sound to a naturally drab singer or clean the weariness out of a tired voice. Wrong notes can be snipped out of the tape and replaced by notes taken from other parts of the tape. Almost every pop recording made today , even by well established talents, carries some evidence of he use of echo chambers, tape reverberation, over-dubbing, or splicing"

Same old, same old...

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]