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Movies

Gaming Netflix Ratings? 235

Posted by kdawson
from the stadium-seated-astroturf dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "Not for the first time, I've noticed a new film that hasn't yet even reached the theaters, yet has hundreds of positive votes and/or reviews recorded on Netflix. This time the movie is Inkheart. For a movie that doesn't even hit the theaters until January 23, it already has 428 votes and a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) on Netflix. Seems more than a bit fraudulent to me. Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great, therefore the movie should be too. Does the word 'shills' come to mind? With millions spent to promote a movie, are a few hundred of that going to phony voters? Or have that many people actually seen the film and just can't wait to rush home and log onto Netflix to vote? Just what is Netflix's responsibility here to provide honest ratings?"

Comment: I don't have a degree... (Score 1) 1123

by slakdrgn (#25980921) Attached to: IT Job Without a Degree?

While there are times I wish I had one, my work speaks for itself. Don't get me wrong; life would have been easier and I probably could slack off more (my experience with degree'd IT people) and easily get away with it.

Not having a degree does mean you have to work harder and gain more experience. It helps to have people along your career that can vouch for you as well. I started my first 'corporate' job as a Tech Support rep. Worked there until I became a Senior Systems Engineer (6yr) and then moved onto my current job as an IT Manager by knowing the Owners of this company through my experience with the last. I've also gotten to know many in the healthcare and general technology industry.

Generally; as long as you work hard, know the right people and can easily prove your strengths you should be able to get a job just about anywhere. The more you bullshit the less likely you are to get a job. Most people in the industry that are worth a grain of salt can detect BS a mile away.

Games

Was Videogaming Better Back in the Day? 381

Posted by Zonk
from the these-new-fangled-gears-and-half-lives dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sean Sands at Gamers With Jobs looks back at the dawn of videogaming, when we were all kids just typing in our games, one line of BASIC at a time. And he finds the present lacking: 'The dreamers became assets instead of leaders, and the rockstar designers became, well, Rockstar ... or Blizzard, or Valve. Publishers with cash-rich money to spend bought the creative process, and the minds of marketing professionals replaced four guys hopped up on sugar doughnuts and generic cola. So, how dare I be surprised that the price of today's gaming blitz is a little piece of last generation's soul?' Do you agree? Was simple gaming better, or are you a story in games fan?"
Privacy

Student Financial Aid Database Being Misused 182

Posted by kdawson
from the six-solicitations-per-day dept.
pin_gween writes "The Washington Post reports on the probable abuse of the National Student Loan Data System. The database was created in 1993 to help determine which students are eligible for financial aid. Students' Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, and loan balances are in the database. It contains 60 million student records and is covered by federal privacy laws. Advocates worry that businesses are trolling for marketing data they can use to bombard students with mass mailings or other solicitations. The department has spent over $650,000 in the past four years protecting the data. However, some senior education officials are advocating a temporary shutdown of access to the database until tighter security measures can be put in place."
The Internet

Norway Liberal Party Wants Legal File Sharing 563

Posted by kdawson
from the pirate-party-platform dept.
dot-magnon writes "The Liberal Party of Norway (Venstre) passed a unanimous resolution that advocates legal file sharing. The party wants to legalise sharing of any copyrighted material for non-commercial use. It also proposes a ban on DRM technology, free sampling of other artists' material, and shortening the life span of copyright. The Liberal Party is the first Norwegian political party, and the first European mainstream political party, to advocate file sharing. The Liberal Party's youth wing proposed the resolution."
Privacy

+ - Student Database Misused?

Submitted by pin_gween
pin_gween (870994) writes "The Washington Post reports on the probable abuse of a government (go figure) database: the National Student Loan Data System. The database was created in 1993 to help determine which students are eligible for for financial aid. Students' Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and sensitive financial information such as loan balances are in the database, which contains 60 million student records and is covered by federal privacy laws.

Advocates worry that businesses are trolling for marketing data they can use to bombard students with mass mailings or other solicitations. "We are just in shock that student data could be compromised like this," said Nancy Hoover, director of financial aid at Denison University in Ohio.

The department has spent over $650,000 in the past four years protecting the data. However, some senior education officials are advocating a temporary shutdown of access to the database until tighter security measures can be put in place."
Music

+ - Wolfpack Stands Up to RIAA; NC State Says "No&

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Technician Online at North Carolina State Unversity reports that its Director of Student Legal Services, Pam Gerace, has advised students to remain anonymous, and has indicated her office's willingness to challenge the RIAA's subpoenas. What is more, the newspaper urges students to take Ms. Gerace up on her offer. The fighting spirit of Jimmy Valvano lives on."
Sony

New Sony DVDs Not Working In Some Players 651

Posted by kdawson
from the DRMed-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems that the most recent DVDs released by Sony — specifically Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness — have some kind of 'feature' that makes them unplayable on many DVD players. This doesn't appear to be covered by the major media yet, but this link to a discussion over at Amazon gives a flavor of the problems people are experiencing. A blogger called Sony and was told the problem is with the new copy protection scheme, and they do not intend to fix it. Sony says it's up to the manufacturers to update their hardware."
Space

+ - Experiment Confirms Relativity Claims

Submitted by
scubamage
scubamage writes "On the 14th of April, Stanford University scientists announced the completion of the experimental phase of Gravity Probe B, a test of Einstein's theory of relativity and gravity. To quote, "One way to think about space-time is as a large fishing net. Left unperturbed and stretched out flat, it is straight and regular. But the minute one puts a weight into the net, everything bends to support that weight. A weight that was spinning would wreak even more havoc with the net, twisting it as it spun. The mass-energy of the planet earth represents a "weight" in our net of space-time, and the daily revolutions of the earth, according to Einstein's theory, represent a twisting of local space-time. GP-B will search for this twisting effect, which has never before been measured." The tests so far have shown that Einstein was correct at least in the fact that there is a distortion. The actual drag created on time space is still being calculated. The stanford article can be found here. The official press release in PDF format can be found here."
Space

A Symmetrical Cosmic Red Square 152

Posted by kdawson
from the dyson-square dept.
Remember the hexagon surrounding Saturn's north pole? Now for our delectation Ano_Nimass Coward sends us to Space.com for a look at a nebula with near perfect bilateral symmetry surrounding a dying star. The so-called Red Square ranks among the most symmetrical objects ever observed by scientists. "If you fold things across the principle diagonal axis, you get an almost perfect reflection symmetry," said the leader of a study of the object, recently published in Science. A possible explanation for the structure's glow, if not its shape, was advanced in a paper appearing in PNAS, which attributes the glow of a similar object — dubbed, confusingly, the Red Rectangle — to exotic space-hardened organic molecules called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. PAHs are normally unstable but may occur in places like the nebula in question, in nanostructured clusters that are extremely stable and radiation hardened.
Programming

+ - C#, C++, Delphi and Java compilers tested

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Developer named Master Alex, took LZMA SDK and compiled a set of benchmark using SDK as an algorithm base. Here he put an archive with source and compiled in Delphi, C#, C++ and Java binaries. Results are put here and retested here. See, Java runtime code speed in decompressing under Windows x64 is only 15% slower then that of C++.

So, the question is can you provide an optimized code in Delphi 7 so it achieve the same (+-10%) speed as C++ compiled code? Or is it impossible? It presumed that Delphi binaries are very fast, almost of C++ speed."
The Internet

+ - Canadian DMCA Coming This Spring

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian government is reportedly ready to introduce copyright reform legislation this spring, provided that no election is called. The new bill would move Canada far closer to the U.S. on copyright, with DMCA-style anti-circumvention legislation that prohibits circumvention of DRM systems and bans software and mod chips that can be used to circumvent such systems."
Censorship

SQL-Ledger Relicensed, Community Gagged 194

Posted by kdawson
from the i-can't-heear-you dept.
Ashley Gittins writes "Users of the popular accounting package SQL-Ledger were being kept in the dark about a recent license change. Two weeks ago a new version of the software was released but along with it came the silent change of license from GPLv2 to the 'SQL-Ledger Open Source License' — presumably in an effort to prevent future forks like LedgerSMB. As it turns out, the author was making deliberate attempts to prevent the community from finding out about the license change. No posts to the SQL-Ledger mailing lists asking about the license change were getting past moderation and direct questions to the author were going unanswered. Just recently the license was switched back to GPLv2. This behavior is not a first for this particular project, and is part of the reason for the original LedgerSMB fork. Does a project maintainer have an ethical obligation to notify his or her community of a license change? What about a legal obligation?"
Windows

Working Around Vista Apps' Incompatibilities 349

Posted by kdawson
from the thousands-and-thousands dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft says there are over 1,000 applications you can run on Windows Vista with few, if any, issues. However, Windows apps number in the tens of thousands. Add to that the facts that x64 Vista versions don't support legacy 16-bit code, and that the Windows Resource Protection in Vista breaks some apps, and you've got a big issue. InformationWeek lists a host of workarounds in How To Manage Windows Vista Application Compatibility. Among the tips discussed are Vista's compatibility mode, its Program Compatibility Assistant wizard, and a little-known form of file and registry virtualization that's built into the OS. What problems have you encountered with incompatible apps, and are any issues you've encountered deal-breakers that could further roil the already muddied adoption picture for Vista?"

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