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Comment Hmm are switches possible? (Score 1) 193

That's a pretty nifty idea.

Is it possible to engineer the appliance so that instead of using passwords sent remotely to access the appliance, access is only granted when a physical switch is flicked on by the consumer? i.e.

Operator: Okay, we are connected to your system, press the red button now.
Customer: *press*
Operator: Okay now were in. Gimme a few minutes while we check your system.

Comment Pigeonholing people? (Score 3, Informative) 171

when gang members are identified, eliminate them

But what if the identification was wrong?

Just look at how the profiling is done. From TFA:-

One of the features of Orca is an algorithm – a set of rules – that assigns each member of the network a probability of belonging to a particular gang. If an individual admits to this, the assignment can be awarded 100% probability. But if he will not, then any known associations he has with other individuals can be used to calculate a probable “degree of membership”.

We have no idea what rules are applied, or the weight given to them. The could take into consideration, for example, factors like skin color, race, language spoken, location of birth, marital status, family pedigree etc. I'm certain that the police are already taking some of these factors into consideration in deciding who to pay special attention to. The difference is that this technology is impersonal and can be misused to provide a veneer of legitimacy to otherwise abusive acts , e.g. "I'm shaking him down because the program says he is a gang member".

My point is that people who are born into a gang dominated environment already are severely disadvantaged, and it sits ill that someone who may be innocent may be subjected to undeserved police action/scrutiny simply because he is marked as a criminal by some program.

Comment Cafe owner was running a gambling den (Score 3, Interesting) 238

Before you jump to defend the internet cafe owner, read his complaint. The "internet cafe" was a disguised gambling den.

TLDR:-
1. Their computers all carry a "Game Display" programme.
2. Buying internet time entitles the user to participate in sweepstakes where they can win prizes. The more time you buy, the more chances you get to join the sweepstakes.
3. The "Game Display" was expressly created to, in their own words, "instill in the patron a sense of excitement and entertainment".

Yes, the law is overly broad and should be reworded, but in this case it did not get the wrong victim.

Having said that, the politicians appear to be equally dirty. There is some suspicion that this legislation was about politicians covering their butts and keeping legalized gambling interests happy.

 

Comment Thank the French Courts, not their government (Score 4, Informative) 97

The law the French government enacted to cut people off the internet, Hadopi, was basically unenforceable when the French Constitutional Court declared access to the Internet a basic human right in 2009.

The French judiciary has ridden to the rescue of the country's web users, striking down a controversial new law which would have allowed the state to cut off the internet connections of illegal filesharers for up to a year.

The ruling is a blow to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who had characterised the so-called "three strikes" law as a crucial weapon in the fight against online piracy. The Hadopi law, named after the government agency which was to police the new regime, was also used by many in the content industry as an example that could be followed in the UK.

But France's constitutional council ruled today that "free access" to online communications services is a human right and cannot be withheld without a judge's intervention. The council also ruled that the method of policing the web envisaged in the law breaches a citizen's right to privacy.

Comment Let Tim himself explain why. (Score 2) 168

Statement titled "A Note from Tim"

Those of you who have been following along in the documentary know about the design vs. money tension we've had on this project since the early days. Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn't stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money.

I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it's hard for me to design one that’s much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle. There's just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story. At least with my brain, there is.

As a side note, it appears that a majority of the backers (or at least, those who identify themselves as backers online) are fine with expanding the scope of the game. And also, that those who complain the loudest against it do not appear to have put any money into the project (like parent poster).

Comment Parent speaks the truth (Score 5, Informative) 300

Yup. MS said so themselves.

Xbox One built for ads from the ground up

So what about the future of advertising on the Xbox One? “It’s going to be an exciting transition though because the 360 console wasn’t built with advertising in mind, it was more of an afterthought, so we’ve had to adapt to the technology and how we work to fit them in to the console,” said Technical Account Manager for Xbox LIVE Advertising, “whereas this new one is going to have advertising in mind. So a lot of the limitations that we have now, hopefully the release of the boundaries will widened so the opportunities will be a lot greater.”

Submission + - Snowden offered asylum by Venezuelan President (telesurtv.net)

aBaldrich writes: Edward Snowden was offered "humanitarian asylum" by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. The country's official news agency reports (oroginal spanish, google translation) that the decision was taken after a meeting of the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Maduro denounced an attempt to "colonize" several European Countries, and that he is acting "on behalf of the dignity of the Americas".

Submission + - Can the Slashdot effect save Ed Snowden? 1

NewtonsLaw writes: I read that Iceland has refused asylum and citizenship to whistleblower Ed Snowden.

In response to this, I wrote a very polite, email to the office of the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (details on this webpage) expressing my disappointment at the decision and my sympathy for a once-proud nation that seems to have lost its nerve when faced with the might of the USA.

If anyone else wants to do the same then perhaps it's not too late to alert the Icelandic government to the fact that they could win millions of new friends from all over the world if they were to show their courage and bravery by helping Snowden, as they have with others in the past.

Of course any such communication needs to be polite, concise and focused on showing Iceland that the internet community supports Ed Snowden and those who are prepared to help him.

Maybe the Slashdot community can help. Why not spend a few quick minutes firing off an email so we can find out for sure.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Will the NSA Controversy Drive People to Use Privacy Software? (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: As the U.S. government continues to pursue former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for leaking some of the country’s most sensitive intelligence secrets, the debate over federal surveillance seems to have abated somewhat—despite Snowden’s stated wish for his revelations to spark transformative and wide-ranging debate, it doesn’t seem as if anyone’s taking to the streets to protest the NSA’s reported monitoring of Americans’ emails and phone-call metadata. Even so, will the recent revelations about the NSA lead to a spike in demand for sophisticated privacy software, leading to a glut of new apps that vaporize or encrypt data? While there are quite a number of tools already on the market (SpiderOak, Silent Circle, and many more), is their presence enough to get people interested enough to install them? Or do you think the majority of people simply don't care? Despite some polling data that suggests people are concerned about their privacy, software for securing it is just not an exciting topic for most folks, who will rush to download the latest iteration of Instagram or Plants vs. Zombies, but who often throw up their hands and profess ignorance when asked about how they lock down their data.

Submission + - Revelations on the French Big Brother (lemonde.fr)

Wrath0fb0b writes: Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France. The report notes that "our email messages, SMS messages, itemised phone bills and connections to FaceBook and Twitter are then stored for years."

For those /.ers that grok Français, you can read the original at Le Monde or the translated version from LM. The NYT also has a writeup on the story.

Submission + - Spying Scandal: EU may sever Ties with American Internet Providers (rt.com) 1

dryriver writes: EU businesses are threatening to terminate relations with American internet providers in response to the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the European Commission has warned. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, said that US providers of ‘cloud services,’ a technology that permits clients to store data on remote servers, could suffer steep losses if users fear the security of their material is at risk of being compromised. "If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out,” Kroes said. “Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?" The EC vice president then pointed to the “multi-billion euro consequences” facing US internet companies in the wake of the scandal. "It is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services. If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won't trust US cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies. If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now."

Submission + - New Study: How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear (ssrn.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new study of books and music for sale on Amazon shows how copyright makes works disappear. The research, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2290181 is described in the abstract: "A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850’s are for sale than new books from the 1950’s. Why? A sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com is analyzed along with a random sample of 2000 songs available on new DVD’s. Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf. Second, the availability on YouTube of songs that reached number one on the U.S., French, and Brazilian pop charts from 1930-60 is analyzed in terms of the identity of the uploader, type of upload, number of views, date of upload, and monetization status. An analysis of the data demonstrates that the DMCA safe harbor system as applied to YouTube helps maintain some level of access to old songs by allowing those possessing copies (primarily infringers) to communicate relatively costlessly with copyright owners to satisfy the market of potential listeners.

Comment Do you know what you are talking about even (Score 4, Insightful) 59

I'm pretty sure NASA have heard of this JPL since the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech is a NASA laboratory.

From TFA:

“A commercial lunar lander jointly developed with NASA would capitalize on NASA's previous investments and expertise in lander technologies. It also would stimulate a commercial capability to deliver payloads to the lunar surface reliably and cost-effectively."

So how is reaching out to commercial entities to improve their existing know-how instead of relying ONLY on their own labs "being clueless and pathetic"?

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