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Comment: Opaque walls (Score 1) 362

by ygslash (#47860243) Attached to: BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

Opaque walls in private homes enable the residents of those home to commit crimes. The detection and prosecution of those crimes is a difficult task due to the use of opaque walls. All building contractors need to take responsibility, and join together to reduce and eliminate those crimes. I propose that it should not be permitted to build any new private homes whose walls are made from opaque materials.

Have you noticed the difference between my proposal and the BBC's proposal? That's right - the crimes enabled by opaque walls do not threaten to reduce the profits of large media corporations like the BBC. Ah well, I guess my proposal doesn't have much chance of adoption, then.

Comment: Re:Uh (Score 1) 127

by ygslash (#47801013) Attached to: Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

Wasn't it already shut down a couple of years ago, with mandatory migration to Skype?

TFA implies that MSN is still active in China, and that is what is now being shut down.

Besides Skype, MS also owns Yammer, which is more similar to MSN than Skype, at least superficially, but targeted at the corporate market.

All in all - there's not much reason for MS to keep MSN around.

Comment: Re:DIAMONDS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY (Score 1) 112

by ygslash (#47323943) Attached to: Astronomers Discover Earth-Sized Diamond

Warning: ACTUAL PHYSICS, not typical Slashdot half-assed speculation...

Calling this a diamond is simply wrong. Perhaps at some point in the distant future one of these will cool and part of it will become a form of crystal carbon, but considering that the cooling time without mantle carbon crystallization is on the order of 10 Gigayears, it is not likely this has happened yet considering that the universe is around 13.6 gigayears old...

OP here. Not claiming to know much about this; I just pointed out the NRAO announcement. But I assume that NRAO does have people that know something about the physics here.

They are not saying that the white dwarf is 3000 K - they would have detected it directly then. They are saying that it must be cooler than that, perhaps much cooler. Thus, they are speculating that this is an extremely old object, and that it may indeed have cooled enough to reach temperatures at which there would be carbon crystallization.

+ - True Tales Of Invisible Employees Who Make IT Work->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Not everyone in the tech world is a flashy app-builder or a hip kid with a pile of VC money. I talked to a group of IT workers who agreed with the self-description of being "invisible" to bring stories to light of what their work lives are like — the joys and frustrations that are ultimately much more representative of what a career is like in this field than whatever Mark Zuckerberg is up to."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Software Builds Fail->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A group of researchers from Google, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Nebraska undertook a study of over 26 million builds by 18,000 Google engineers from November 2012 through July 2013 to better understand what causes software builds to fail and, by extension, to improve developer productivity. And, while Google isn't representative of every developer everywhere, there are a few findings that stand out: Build frequency and developer (in)experience don't affect failure rates, most build errors are dependency-related, and C++ generates more build errors than Java (but they’re easier to fix)."
Link to Original Source

+ - How governments devise custom "implants" to bug smartphones->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "On Twitter, it was billed as Qatif Today, a legitimate Android app that provides news and information in Arabic with a focus on the Qatif governorate of Saudi Arabia. But in fact, the shortened link came with a hidden extra—an advanced trojan wealthy nation states use to spy on criminal suspects and political dissidents.

Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto group that monitors government surveillance in the digital age, analyzed the recently discovered instance of the fake Qatif Today app in a blog post headlined Police Story: Hacking Team’s Government Surveillance Malware. The account provides a rare glimpse into malware developed by "Hacking Team," a highly secretive outfit based in Italy that charges governments top dollar for extremely stealthy spyware that's often referred to as a "lawful intercept" program."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google partner declares "death of hardware"->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Google partner has declared the "death" of server hardware in the enterprise, as it attempts to mount a charge on Microsoft's heartland by selling a package combining Google Apps with Chromebooks and Citrix. The AU$5,000 package includes up to five loan Chromebooks, access to a "cloud-based demonstration environment" for three weeks and a number of tools, including Google Chromebook Management Console, Google Apps for Business, Citrix's HTML5 Receiver, XenApp, NetScaler and StoreFront. Customers get access to Amazon's EC2, Cloud Formation and AutoScale products while customers' legacy application workloads, such as Microsoft or SAP, are hosted on AWS's public cloud infrastructure. The launch also follows news Google has partnered with Twilio and LiveOps to deliver a Chromebook bundle for call centers."
Link to Original Source

+ - The rise and fall of the cheat code-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new feature published this week takes a deep-dive look at the history of the cheat code and its various manifestations over the years, from manual 'pokes' on cassettes to pass phrases with their own dedicated menus — as well as their rise from simple debug tool in the early days of bedroom development to a marketing tactic when game magazines dominated in the 1990s, followed by dedicated strategy guides.

Today's era of online play has all but done away with them, but the need for a level playing field isn't the only reason for their decline: as one veteran coder points out, why give away cheats for free when you can charge for them as in-app purchases? "Bigger publishers have now realised you can actually sell these things to players as DLC. Want that special gun? Think you can unlock it with a cheat code? Nope! You've got to give us some money first!""

Link to Original Source

+ - Octogenarian locksmith wins 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition

Submitted by ygslash
ygslash (893445) writes "Ishai Zimmerman, a locksmith in his 80's, won first prize in the 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition at the Technion in Haifa. The final round of the competition was attended by Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov, who first published the idea of a space elevator in 1960 based on a concept of 19th century rocket science founder Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In this year's competition, participants were required to build a climber that could ascend a 25 meter vertical rope at high speed and then lift a capsule attached to the bottom of the rope, without using any combustion energy. Zimmerman's winning entry was based on an electric screw motor used in the manufacture of plastic pipes."

+ - Astronomers discover Earth-sized diamond

Submitted by ygslash
ygslash (893445) writes "Astronomers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced that they have discovered what appears to be the coolest white dwarf ever detected. The white dwarf is formerly a star similar to our own sun which, after expending all of its fuel, has cooled to less than a chilly 3000 degrees Kelvin and contracted to a size approximately the same as Earth. A white dwarf is composed mostly of carbon and oxygen, and the astronomers believe that at that temperature it would be mostly crystallized, forming something like a huge diamond."

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.