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Submission + - You Will Get DirectX 11.2 Only With Windows 8.1 1

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft has just announced the next version of DirectX, 11.2, on its website. But the real "problem" is that it is going to be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and next generation consoles — Xbox One and Play Station 4. This is not news, as DirectX 11 was exclusive to Windows 8. But is this going to help Microsoft convince people to ugprade or will make them angry?

Submission + - Copying Rival Games Rife at Zynga (ibtimes.co.uk)

DavidGilbert99 writes: Beware ex-employees. It should be a mantra for all businesses, but particularly ones who are in trouble and have just laid off over 500 workers out of the blue. One ex-Zynga employee decided the best way to vent his/her anger was to take to Reddit and answer questions — revealing that copying rival games was endemic at Zynga and that the company's business strategy was "terrible" among other dirty little secrets.

Submission + - Prison Architect prison simulation game launched for linux (introversion.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Prison Architect is a Prison Simulation and Management game currently released in Alpha from indie developers Introversion Software (Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON and Multiwinia). Prison Architect was initially released in September 2012 and has been played by nearly 90,000 gamers so far. 10 Alpha updates have been released and Introversion is committed to continuing to release a major update each month. From Alpha 10 onwards Prison Architect will be available for Linux — from the Introversion Blog:

"We are now supplying builds for Linux via steam and as a standalone download from our website. The game should be widely compatible across the various Linux distributions, but please let us know if you have problems by logging bugs in our bug tracker. We have targeted Ubuntu 12.04 (32 bit and 64 bit) as a starting point, and we anticipate wider compatibility in later alphas. Please note that we do require glibc 2.15 or later, which unfortunately means Prison Architect does not currently work on Debian Stable."

Submission + - Facebook Silently Removes Ability to Download Your Posts (angrymath.com) 1

dcollins writes: Facebook has a "Download Info" capability that I've used regularly since 2010 to archive, backup, and search all the information that I've written and shared there (called "wall posts"). But I've discovered that sometime in the last few months, Facebook silently removed this largest component from the Downloaded Info, locking up all of your posted information internally where it can no longer be exported or digitally searched. Will they reverse course if this is publicized and they're pressured on the matter?

Submission + - Microsoft assigns six patents to patent troll Vringo (groklaw.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Some days $30 million seems like a lot of money, and other days it's just a bit of a letdown. Vringo is a once-upon-a-time ringtone company that's now basically a holding company for search patents dating back to the Lycos days, and it used those patents to sue Google. In November, a federal jury found that the patents were infringed, but Google should pay just $30 million, far less than the nearly $700 million it was seeking.
Investors had big dreams for Vringo, but that too-small payday, combined with an assurance of a lengthy appeal by Google, has left the stock price disappointingly stagnant.

In January Vringo unveiled its wholly predictable backup plan—sue the one other viable search engine, Microsoft's Bing. Now that case has settled for $1 million, plus five percent of whatever Google ultimately pays, according to a Vringo regulatory filing yesterday...

The five percent addendum is an interesting twist to this early settlement. One has to wonder if Microsoft really fought very hard. The company has effectively paid $1 million for an "option" to see its chief competitor hurt 20 times as bad as it is.

The settlement also provides for Microsoft to transfer six patents to I/P engine, the patent-holding subsidiary of Vringo. "The assigned patents relate to telecommunications, data management, and other technology areas," stated Vringo in its filing.

Submission + - EFF formally objects to inclusion of DRM in HTML5 (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a formal objection with the W3C against the inclusion of digital rights management (DRM) for streamed media in HTML5. The W3C HTML working group is developing EME (Encrypted Media Extensions) that would bring in standardized DRM plugins for streamed media. EFF, through its full objection, has pointed out that the creation of EME and the implementation of usage controls on the web platform do not fall under the purview of the HTML working group. Further, the existing web standards already support the use cases that are not related to usage control. EFF is of the opinion that usage control like the EME, which was declared ‘in-scope’ by W3C exec team in February, effectively point to options such as paywalls, subscription models, watermarked content, etc which are already supported by existing web standards.

Submission + - Now PETA Wants to Sue People Who Leave Anonymous Comments (yahoo.com) 1

MarkWhittington writes: PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is incensed over an article in the Huffington Post that details that organization's unsettling practice of euthanizing animals in a Virginia facility that many have assumed is a no kill shelter.

According to the New York Post, PETA wants to sue some of the people who have left comments on the article. The problem is that, following the practice of many on the Internet, many of the comments are under assumed names or are anonymous. PETA is attempting to discover the true identities of their critics so that it can sue them for defamation.

Submission + - Step aside CISPA, SOPA, DMCA, PIPA, ACTA. Introducing CTAIP.

Aaron B Lingwood writes: Cory Doctorow unearths a plan by the US entertainment industry to lobby for the legalization of deploying rootkits, spyware, ransomware and trojans to attack pirates. The hilariously named "Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property" has finally released its report, an 84-page tome that's pretty bonkers. But amidst all that crazy, there's a bit that stands out as particularly insane: a proposal to legalize the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally.

Submission + - Google Unable To Keep Paying App Developers In Argentina (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has sent letters to app developers registered in Argentina saying they won't be able to accept payments on developers' behalf after June 27th. 'The change applies to both paid apps and apps that use in-app purchases. The move appears to be related to new, restrictive regulations the Argentine government has imposed on currency exchanges.' According to the Telegraph, 'The new regulations required anyone wanting to change Argentine pesos into another currency to submit an online request for permission to AFIP, the Argentine equivalent of HM Revenue & Customs. To submit the request, however, you first needed to get a PIN number from AFIP, either online or in person. Having finally obtained your number, submitted your online request and printed out your permission slip, you could then present it at the bank or official cambio and buy your dollars. Well, that was the theory. In practice, the result was chaos. ... damming the flood has come at a huge cost to the economy, especially since the currency restrictions were coupled with another set of regulations that effectively imposed a near-total ban on any imported goods.'

Submission + - Scanner Identifies Malware Strains, Could be Future of AV

An anonymous reader writes: When it comes to spotting malware, signature-based detection, heuristics and cloud-based recognition and information sharing used by many antivirus solutions today work well up a certain point, but the polymorphic malware still gives them a run for their money. At the annual AusCert conference held this week in Australia a doctorate candidate from Deakin University in Melbourne has presented the result of his research and work that just might be the solution to this problem. Security researcher Silvio Cesare had noticed that malware code consists of small "structures" that remain the same even after moderate changes to its code. He created Simseer, a free online service that performs automated analysis on submitted malware samples and tells and shows you just how similar they are to other submitted specimens. It scores the similarity between malware (any kind of software, really), and it charts the results and visualizes program relationships as an evolutionary tree.

Submission + - EU to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants (blakkened.com)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 writes: A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.

As you might suspect, this move is the “final solution” of Monsanto, DuPont and other seed-domination corporations who have long admitted their goal is the complete domination of all seeds and crops grown on the planet.

Submission + - Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds (nytimes.com)

mspohr writes: Apple relied on a “complex web of offshore entities” and U.S. tax loopholes to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes on $44 billion in offshore income over the past four years, according to excerpts from a Senate subcommittee report to be released tomorrow as Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies on the company’s overseas operations.

The maker of iPhones and iPads used at least three foreign subsidiaries that it claims are not “tax resident in any nation” to help it avoid paying billions in “otherwise taxable offshore income,” the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a statement today. "
Coverage in Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/05/20/apple-used-loopholes-to-skip-paying-44-billion-in-u-s-taxes-senate-committee-claims/
NYTimes also has coverage:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/business/apple-avoided-billions-in-taxes-congressional-panel-says.html

Submission + - A perspective: developers vs. Microsoft (reactos.org)

jeditobe writes: Most people understand that Windows is used by a variety of people who have a variety of needs, ranging from corporate server to workstation to POS terminals to home PC and beyond. Most people accept that whenever Microsoft updates Windows, it has to balance the competing requirements to find some kind of workable compromise. There is however another set of competing requirements that many do not really register, even those that call themselves power users or are IT admins. It is a conflict between developers/programmers and Microsoft itself
Space

Submission + - Journey to the Limits of Spacetime (utexas.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent paper in Science, researchers predicted the formation of accretion disks and relativistic jets that warp and bend more than previously thought, shaped by the extreme gravity of the black hole and by powerful magnetic forces generated by its spin. Enabled by 3D simulations performed on the powerful supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the National Institute of Computational Science and NASA, these predictions overturn an overly simplified view of jets and disks.

Submission + - Google versus the Amicus Briefs (groklaw.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday there were numerous amicus briefs filed all on the same day and all in support of Oracle against Google in Oracle's appeal at the Federal Circuit. None of the briefs are posted publicly yet, but they should be available soon.

Microsoft has filed one, together with EMC Corporation, and NetApp, Inc. Scott McNealy has filed one with Brian Sutphin. Can McNealy be a witness for Oracle at trial, which he was [PDF], and also file an amicus brief? Well, he has. The Picture Archive Council of America, Inc. has filed one with the Graphic Artists Guild. Also there's one from the BSA. And finally Eugene Spafford, Zhi Ding, and Lee A. Hollaar have filed an amicus in support of Oracle. Hollaar seems to file a lot of amicus briefs.

So why do these entities and individuals care about this Java API case, do you suppose?

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