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Comment: Re:Old? (Score 5, Informative) 145

by ugen (#48688855) Attached to: Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

I thought so too at first - China blocks access to any and all google services. But then I realized that the article (and title) are poorly worded. What China did (in addition to already blocking access to the actual google services) - is to block any email sent from/to anyone with a mailbox at That is to say - as a user, you are no longer able to exchange emails with users of various email services based in China.

That is, in fact, somewhat bigger news - they are breaking an intercommunication capability.

Comment: Re:People (Score 4, Insightful) 481

by ugen (#48064925) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Self-preservation. We are people, hence by social contract we (no longer) eat each other. That way each of us can feel safe that others will not consume him. We consider people who violate that rule criminals or insane and deal with them appropriately.

There is no such social contract with animals. We can eat them and they, occasionally, eat humans too.

Comment: Way to be offensive in the apology (Score 3, Insightful) 280

by ugen (#48046323) Attached to: Facebook Apologizes To Drag Queens Over "Real Name" Rule

The so-called "apology" is in itself offensive and patronizing. "Drag queens" to LGBT is what "Exotic dancers" are to being a straight woman (or a man, I suppose). The choice of names they used in the example is also not coincidental.

I wonder if reaction would have been different were facebook to require all married women to use their husbands name (Mrs Robinson), and then apologized by way by letting them keep their "Lil Miss Makemeasammich" monikers.

It's only "PC bullshit" until it's your problem.

Comment: Re:Sales figures are news now? (Score 4, Informative) 206

by ugen (#47968979) Attached to: Apple Sells More Than 10 Million New iPhones In First 3 Days

Not sure about other products, but here is the recent article about Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung sold 5 million Galaxy 5S phones in the entire month of May (which was evidently the first full month of sales)
The article says that it sold less in its first month than Apple sold iPhones 5S in the same month.

I know there is always a "many Android phones vs one Apple" argument. But numbers are what they are.

Comment: Re:Pleasant? (Score 0, Troll) 174

by ugen (#47946635) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

Any game that takes an effort to make "safe" cannot be described as pleasant or safe by default.
It takes more than a little effort or research. Unless you constantly monitor servers for content or audit server list daily - you cannot claim that the game is played "safely". Server content can change at any time, and your children can add and delete servers as they see fit.

Something is up with /. reader's ability to comprehend the material today :)

Comment: Re:Pleasant? (Score 0) 174

by ugen (#47946505) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

1. I am not in the micromanaging my kids business. Sitting next to my child every minute they are on the computer, and watching their every step is not viable. I prefer services (and games) that are designed from ground up to provide child enough freedom without having to have a permanent guard set next to them.

2. You are making my point for me. As a game universe, in general, Minecraft is *not* nonviolent or purely creative, as it is being generally described. It has its fair share of sex, violence and useless junk. It takes a conscious and significant effort to protect players from that. This is something that articles about Minecraft seem to conveniently omit.

Comment: Pleasant? (Score 1, Flamebait) 174

by ugen (#47946357) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

As a parent, I don't see Minecraft through the rose-colored glasses, as it seems to be commonly described. While a game was supposed to be nonviolent, plenty of Minecraft servers seem to have added functionality that allows direct fighting and ability to kill other players. Chat capabilities go unmonitored and "adult language" is widespread.

Due to Minecrafts de-centralized nature there are no effective technological age or content controls, leaving children (mine anyway) exposed to kinds of things that I would prefer them to consume in limited amounts or not at all.

The only realistic technical measure of control is to prohibit playing Minecraft at all, or at least prohibit network play. Unfortunately, given Minecraft popularity this is not feasible. My parenting approach does not include use of force or abuse of my authority, (where safety or law is not directly concerned), so I can't in good consciousness prohibit it outright.

On a personal level, it annoys me that a game world with a level of 3d graphics and physics sophistication that was state of the art 20 years ago is extremely popular today, but I can see the draw of "retro" look and feel.

+ - NASA awards "space taxi" contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "Contrary to the rumor posted on Slashdot earlier today, "NASA will partner with Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday... Boeing was awarded $4.2 billion to SpaceX's $2.6 billion. ""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Analyzing the FBI's Explanation of How They Loc (Score 1) 142

by ugen (#47852843) Attached to: Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

That'd be one useless network though. If your devices have no information worth stealing - than what are they doing?

That's the problem with anonymity (and security in general). To be perfect, it's got to have no value.

In a more practical case like this one, I fully expect that administrators of those servers made one small mistake (more likely simply could not check every possible bit of code for information it may leak) and that was their downfall.

Money is its own reward.