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Comment: Probably the most sane candidate out there (Score 2) 114

by prizrak (#46624759) Attached to: Darth Vader Runs For President of Ukraine

This may sound funny, but I'm serious, compared to current candidate line-up - Darth is the most sane of them all, compared to Yarosh, Timoshenko and Poroshenko he is much less extreme. If I had Ukrainian citizenship - I would definitely vote for him versus other right and ultra-right candidates.

The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-day-for-a-flight dept.
skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Technology

Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the little-flyer dept.
yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."
Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the inspiring-internet-outrage-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."
Games

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the marrrrrrrket-share dept.
John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Comment: Re:Learn a UNIX (Score 1) 474

by prizrak (#28426425) Attached to: Getting Beyond the Helldesk

I fully agree with "Learn a UNIX" advice. Here in MA there seem to be a shortage of qualified UNIX admins even nowadays.

I've been trying to hire 3 Senior UNIX/Linux admins (long term contract) for last 2 months and I had to go through 72 (yes, 72) candidates that I phone screened before locating qualified individuals - and that's only the ones who passed simpler phone pre-screening. We needed someone who knows Solaris/Veritas/Linux well so that made it more difficult - but still, good experienced UNIX admins are definitely in demand.

If you have RHCE certification - that is always a big plus, 5 hours of hands on test do tend to identify who can make things work quickly and who can't. Solaris certs are also a plus, though not as valuable as RHCE IMO. And of course experience is above all important for everything.

So if UNIX is something you like to work on - it is easy to start on your own and work your way up step by step.

Image

Biotech Company To Patent Pigs 285 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the bring-home-the-bacon dept.
Anonymous Swine writes "Monsanto, a US based multinational biotech company, is causing a stir by its plan to patent pig-breeding techniques including the claim on animals born by the techniques. 'Agricultural experts are scrambling to assess how these patents might affect the market, while consumer activists warn that if the company is granted pig-related patents, on top of its tight rein on key feed and food crops, its control over agriculture could be unprecedented. "We're afraid that Monsanto and other big companies are getting control of the world's genetic resources," said Christoph Then, a patent expert with Greenpeace in Germany. The patent applications, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, are broad in scope, and are expected to take several years and numerous rewrites before approval.'"
The Courts

RIAA Sued For Fraud, Abuse, & "Sham Litigation" 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the chickens-coming-home-to-roost dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "It's been a rough week for the RIAA as massive layoffs are about to cost many employees their job. On top of that, the anti-piracy outfit is being sued in North Carolina for abusing the legal system in its war on piracy, particularly for civil conspiracy, deceptive trade practices, trespassing and computer fraud in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Moursy. Named along with the record companies as defendants on the counterclaims are Safenet (formerly known as MediaSentry) and the RIAA. This case first started out as 'LaFace Records v. Does 1-38' until the court required the RIAA to break it up into 38 separate cases, at which point it morphed into 'SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Doe.' Only after the RIAA finally got its 'expedited' discovery did it become SONY v. Moursy. And from the looks of things, it has a long, long way to go. The RIAA hasn't even filed its answer to the counterclaims yet, but is making a motion to dismiss them on the grounds of legal insufficiency. Sound like a good investment of record company resources, anyone?"
Transportation

Amtrak Photo Contestant Arrested By Amtrak Police 675

Posted by kdawson
from the what-we-have-here-is-a-failure-to-communicate dept.
Photographer Duane Kerzic was standing on the public platform in New York's Penn Station, taking pictures of trains in hopes of winning the annual photo contest that Amtrak had been running since 2003. Amtrak police arrested him for refusing to delete the photos when asked, though they later charged him with trespassing. "Obviously, there is a lack of communication between Amtrak's marketing department, which promotes the annual contest, called Picture Our Trains, and its police department, which has a history of harassing photographers for photographing these same trains. Not much different than the JetBlue incident from earlier this year where JetBlue flight attendants had a woman arrested for refusing to delete a video she filmed in flight while the JetBlue marketing department hosted a contest encouraging passengers to take photos in flight." Kerzic's blog has an account of the arrest on Dec. 21 and the aftermath.

Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off 1002

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fear-mongering-works dept.
An anonymous readerwrites "On Friday the wonderfully customer centric AirTran decided to remove a family of 9 US born Muslims after a comment between two family members regarding how close to the Jet engine they had been seated. The wonderful part is that after the FBI cleared the family 2 hours later, AirTran refused to fly the family, and refused to rebook them on their way from Washington to Orlando, Florida. The family purchased additional tickets on US Airways later that day, after AirTran requested that the irate father be escorted from their booking podiums by security. This whole story highlights the pathetic customer service we are getting from the Airlines these days — they actually treat us like criminals first and ask questions later. Just don't get me started on Delta." It's nice to see that stupidity still knows no bounds.
Space

Virgin Galactic Signs Historic Lease Agreement 49

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the coming-to-america dept.
RobGoldsmith writes "Governor Bill Richardson today announced that Virgin Galactic has signed a 20-year lease agreement with the State of New Mexico. Virgin Galactic's world headquarters will be established in New Mexico and its operations will be located at New Mexico's Spaceport America, the nation's first purpose-built commercial spaceport. The signing of the lease agreement coincides with the beginning of the test flying program for Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo launch vehicle which got underway this month in Mojave, CA. The WhiteKnightTwo will serve as the mother ship for SpaceShipTwo, the vehicle that will carry commercial astronauts into sub-orbital space from Spaceport America."
The Courts

Comcast Facing Lawsuit Over Set-Top Box Rentals 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.
Multichannel News reports that a woman from California has initiated a potential class-action lawsuit against Comcast for making customers rent a set-top box without giving them the option to buy it outright. Quoting: "The action, on behalf of Comcast Corp. customer Cheryl Corralejo, alleges that the set-top rental practice represents an 'unlawful tying arrangement resulting in an impermissible restraint of trade.' In addition to violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the suit alleges the practice violates business and professions codes. ... [It also notes] that premium video and the set-top descramblers are two distinct products, yet the cable providers require that the hardware be rented from cable companies, rather than permitting consumers to purchase the set-top hardware in the open market.
IT

Is Finding Part Time Work In IT Unrealistic? 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-to-replace-with-hardware dept.
I like my current job writes "Having worked full-time in IT for the past 12 years, I would really like to work less and focus on other goals and priorities in my life. I asked my current employer and was shot down. It seems like everyone I know in IT works full-time except for entry-level help desk staff. Striking out on my own seems to be the only way to control the ball and chain around my ankle. However, my experience with independent consulting is a 'feast or famine' situation, with work coming all at once, thus making part-time impossible, or the other extreme (which is even more likely). Is part-time work a pipe dream in IT? Maybe a career in toilet cleaning is calling me."
The Courts

RIAA Claim of Stopping Suits "Months" Ago Is False 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the pants-aflame dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report on Wired.com, the RIAA spokesman claimed that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits 'for months,' and according to the Wall Street Journal report discussed here yesterday, the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits 'early this fall.' Knowing that the RIAA has a problem with telling the truth, I did a little investigating, and found out that the RIAA had, in fact, commenced a wave of lawsuits just last week. Why would anyone believe anything their spokesperson says? This is an organization that has a tendency to misspeak a lot, if you know what I mean, even when under oath." CNet has a copy of the RIAA's new form letter that it will ask ISPs to pass on to alleged copyright-infringing users. It says, in part, "This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' rights to recover or claim relief for damages incurred by this illegal activity, nor does it waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft."

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