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Comment: Re:Summay of the summary (Score 1) 157

by skiingyac (#45370445) Attached to: Credit Card Numbers Still Google-able

Yeah somebody didn't think this article through all the way...

1. Post credit card numbers a website's forum, etc...google would then de-list them for you
2. ???
3. Profit

Not just 4111 1111 1111 1111 which is easy to ignore, but there is an endless supply http://www.getcreditcardnumbers.com/ (or just randomly guess, a decent percent of 16 digit numbers are valid).

Comment: Re:And I call (Score 3, Interesting) 111

by skiingyac (#37858208) Attached to: How To Rob a Bank: One Social Engineer's Story

Once there was an actual criminal going around a large office park at a place where I previously worked that would walk in wearing a VERY fancy suit and kindof wander around stealing laptops, electronics, etc. and then walk out. Nobody could ever identify him except that he was in a fancy suit, and nobody dared question what he was doing so as not to get in trouble for offending somebody important. Not saying any of these places were supposed to be highly secure, but was quite a problem for a while and he always got out before anyone noticed or realized what was going on.

Then he walked into our office which was a startup, and he was obviously not familiar with the "atmosphere". As soon as he got in by following behind somebody, several people said "What the **** are you wearing a suit for and what the **** are you doing here?", took a picture of him, and escorted him out.

Comment: Re:Customers (Score 1) 253

by skiingyac (#37670314) Attached to: Netflix Kills Qwikster

Even worse, a huge chunk of the market for "occasional" or "light" users of netflix has now been destroyed.

The people who've left for price reasons are those who (like me) were happy paying $8/month for the ability to always have a DVD to watch in case you wanted to, and always have instant movies to watch. On average I got about 3 physical DVDs per month, sometimes less, and 1-2 instant old movies or random shows. From what I've heard, netflix's cost is $1 per physical DVD, and not a lot for the instant "junk." So, they lost a highly profitable customer they're making $5/month on. But, they get to keep the customers who pay $8/month and get probably about 4-6 DVDs a month (otherwise redbox is probably better) making them barely profitable. And, they get the customers who pay $16-20 a month for mail+instant and get again at least 4, but likely more, DVDs a month plus now will demand better instant selection which must be costing them a good chunk. All these customers have lower profit margins... good job netflix.

The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the put-your-money-where-your-gun-is dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
PlayStation (Games)

Sony's New Development Strategy For the PSP 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the progress-is-progress dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sony is finally responding to the threat posed by the iPhone, and has started aggressively courting developers around the world to work on digitally distributed games for PSP in a bid to grow the amount of software offered on its handheld. And, Develop has revealed, the firm is planning to introduce a streamlined content pipeline for the platform — which includes abolishing concept approval — plus cheaper devkits, shorter quality assurance processes, and very low price points for new games. It hasn't totally abolished the barriers around the platform for homebrew and indie devs, but it's a start."

Comment: Re:I'd rather they just pulled the plug... (Score 2, Interesting) 438

by skiingyac (#26616745) Attached to: Senate Approves 4-Month Delay In Digital TV Switch

See http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/01/4g-war-conflict-of-interests-loom-behind-possible-dtv-delay.ars

Basically, Verizon wants to deploy their 4G cellular network using the spectrum that will be freed up, and Clearwire wants that to take as long as possible so they can get more users to sign up for WiMAX first (which is already somewhat deployed).

In reality, yeah a 4 month delay probably won't have much impact on the amount of customers either service gets since the demand isn't very high right now. I think pricing and service quality will make more of a difference. If it gets pushed back further, that could change.

Arguably, the people who sell hardware & related things to Verizon for 4G networks (some of which are in or affiliated with Obama's administration) have some to gain/lose depending on the timing. Probably not much because 4G will be deployed either way, but thats the argument.

Comment: real answer (Score 1) 451

by skiingyac (#26498685) Attached to: How Best To Deal With WiFi Interference?

To answer the question, there are two things going on.

One is the interference from the transmissions, which lowers the signal-to-noise ratio if you are on the same (or an overlapping) channel. The lower that gets, the more errors and the worse your performance. So to combat that, you can either use a different channel (1, 6, and 11 are probably the best to try, but you could just measure your performance on all of them and use whatever is best), or as you said force the use of a lower data rate (a lower data rate is more tolerant of low signal-to-noise ratios). Obviously there's a trade-off between having a more reliable connection with a lower data rate and having an unreliable connection with a faster data rate.

The second issue is channel reservation. Because of how 802.11 works, you can end up with a situation where one user is getting an unfair amount of bandwidth by basically telling the other users to be quiet. There are various settings which you may have access to depending on your router, such as the RTS/CTS threshold (try setting it to a very small value, may be better or worse depending on the situation), the backoff window size (which tunes aggressiveness), preamble (a long preamble helps when there is interference), etc.

So yes, just try different settings and you should be able to get an improvement.

The Internet

How To Supplement Election Coverage? 241

Posted by kdawson
from the news-junkie-overload dept.
An anonymous reader asks "What information sources and social networking sites will you be using to supplement the election coverage on TV next Tuesday? I am ready with a big HDTV with Comcast, a Mac mini, and and an Xbox 360. I also have two laptops (one good for websites and one for streaming video), an old-school Blackberry, a 'regular' cell phone, a Nokia N810, a Squeezebox, and finally Sirius Satellite Radio. Which websites should I watch for live county results? I already know about the Twitter Vote Report for tracking and reporting voting issues and I already watch 'CNN Reporters' on Friendfeed for the national flair. What other Twitter accounts should I follow? Which urgent ones should I send to my phones? Which YouTube accounts or keywords I should subscribe to in Miro? What are the most popular sites for posting 'on-scene' videos — iReport, Flickr, something else? I know most local Fox affiliates are great about streaming, but is there a page that lists all of the streams, in case I need to quickly focus on one city or area? Basically, how would you configure all those gadgets?" This reader might find some guidance in what to focus on from a video produced by reader (and data modeler) Bruce Nash that lays out a predicted timeline for when the media will call each state, depending on when the polls close and how tight each race is expected to be.

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