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Comment: Drop to PS1/N64/DS graphics (Score 1) 164

by tepples (#46822409) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

Budget problems? For parts of a map that need to look plausible but whose precise arrangement isn't critically important to the story, try something procedural. Don't design a hotel room; make a program that designs hotel rooms. It worked for the space trading sim Elite, the shooter .kkrieger, roguelikes, graphical dungeon crawlers inspired by roguelikes, and Orteil's Nested tech demo.

Tech limits? Why can't the game just drop everyone to 1997-class graphics when it detects that what the players have chosen to do has hit fundamental limits of popular video gaming platforms? If it was good enough for GoldenEye...

Comment: Re:Political reasons for URIs to change (Score 1) 72

by tepples (#46822065) Attached to: 404-No-More Project Seeks To Rid the Web of '404 Not Found' Pages

Or a site deciding to use a different URI schema because it it better for SEO and not caring about compatibility?

Search engines count inbound links as one of the factors in the rank of a particular document. Keeping old URIs working alongside your new URIs keeps your old inbound links working, which can only improve the placement of the documents on a site. When I moved Phil's Hobby Shop to a different shopping cart package, I had the 404 handler try to interpret the old cart's URI schema and route requests to product search.

Comment: Re:Firmware (Score 1) 78

by kimvette (#46821653) Attached to: WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises

Chain of events:

1. Product manager gives a feature list and a hard delivery date based on arbitrary whims of an executive
2. Development and QA comes back with a date that requires a schedule which is 3x longer
3. Product management comes back with the same date and decides to handle the issue by bringing in more contractors insisting that throwing more people at the problem will achieve the goals and the megalomaniac rockstar contractor said "Oh I can get this done in half the time."
4. Reality proves the product manager is an idiot and the project will take even longer than development predicted because the contractors turned the whole thing into a fucking mess and all the code written by Mr. Rockstar has to be rewritten

+ - Australian law enforcement pushes against encryption, advocates data retention->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "Australia is in the middle of a parliamentary inquiry examining telecommunications interception laws. Law enforcement organisations using this to resurrect the idea of a scheme for mandatory data retention by telcos and ISPs. In addition, an Australian peak law enforcement body is pushing for rules that would force telcos help with decryption of communications."
Link to Original Source

+ - OpenSSL: The New Face Of Technology Monoculture->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "In a now-famous 2003 essay, “Cyberinsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly” ( Dr. Dan Geer ( argued, persuasively, that Microsoft’s operating system monopoly constituted a grave risk to the security of the United States and international security, as well. It was in the interest of the U.S. government and others to break Redmond’s monopoly, or at least to lessen Microsoft’s ability to ‘lock in’ customers and limit choice. “The prevalence of security flaw (sp) in Microsoft’s products is an effect of monopoly power; it must not be allowed to become a reinforcer,” Geer wrote.

The essay cost Geer his job at the security consulting firm AtStake, which then counted Microsoft as a major customer.( (AtStake was later acquired by Symantec.)

These days Geer is the Chief Security Officer at In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm. But he’s no less vigilant of the dangers of software monocultures. Security Ledger notes that, in a post today for the blog Lawfare (, Geer is again warning about the dangers that come from an over-reliance on common platforms and code. His concern this time isn’t proprietary software managed by Redmond, however, it’s common, oft-reused hardware and software packages like the OpenSSL software at the heart (pun intended) of Heartbleed.(

“The critical infrastructure’s monoculture question was once centered on Microsoft Windows,” he writes. “No more. The critical infrastructure’s monoculture problem, and hence its exposure to common mode risk, is now small devices and the chips which run them," Geer writes.

What happens when a critical and vulnerable component becomes ubiquitous — far more ubiquitous than OpenSSL? Geer wonders if the stability of the Internet itself is at stake.

“The Internet, per se, was designed for resistance to random faults; it was not designed for resistance to targeted faults,” Geer warns. “As the monocultures build, they do so in ever more pervasive, ever smaller packages, in ever less noticeable roles. The avenues to common mode failure proliferate.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - Google breaks its own reCAPTCHA->

Submitted by ras
ras (84108) writes "Google researchers working on recognising street numbers for Street View pointed their creation at images generated by reCAPTCHA:

To further explore the applicability of the proposed system to broader text recognition tasks, we apply it to synthetic distorted text from reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is one of the most secure reverse turing tests that uses distorted text to distinguish humans from bots. We report a 99.8% accuracy on the hardest category of reCAPTCHA.


Link to Original Source

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City 183

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wait'll-it's-drone-enabled dept.
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes with some concerning news from the Atlantic. From the article: "In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. 'We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,' Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time."

Comment: Political reasons for URIs to change (Score 4, Interesting) 72

by tepples (#46810723) Attached to: 404-No-More Project Seeks To Rid the Web of '404 Not Found' Pages

I always thought that URIs were supposed to handle precisely this - that they were supposed to be unique, universally accessible identifiers for contents and resources - identifiers that, once assigned, wouldn't need to be changed to access the same contents or resources in the future.

That's the intent: cool URIs don't change. But in the real world, URIs disappear for political reasons. One is the change in organizational affiliation of an author. This happens fairly often to documents hosted "for free" on something like Tripod/Geocities, a home ISP's included web space, or a university's web space. Another is the sale of exclusive rights in a work, invention, or name to a third party. A third is the discovery of a third party's exclusive rights in a work, invention, or name that make it no longer possible to continue to offer a work at a given URI.

Comment: Re:why not just have a baby earlier? (Score 1) 327

Really, my college education was a waste.

Good luck affording a house for you and your children to live in without one. 30 years of dual incomes and financialisation have placed a home firmly outside the reach of most single income households, and at this stage quite a few double income households.

Make no mistake, no mistake whatsoever. These women are not pursuing abstract "careers". They are perusing the income and job-security needed to buy and live securely in a family home. And like the rest of us, they are losing.

This happened in Japan beginning in the 1980s. The birth rate there has plummeted. If you don't produce affordable, aspirational accommodation, people will not settle down.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder