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Comment I have never even thought the swipe to be secure (Score 1) 206

Honestly, I have seen more than few of my friends using android phone enter the grid swipe only once... and I think still remember every single one of them. I myself use the grid swipe too, but I also enter the PIN for my SIM card when I boot the device up. I consider the swipe the grid to be more of a "keypad lock" function than anything even resembling actual security from data confidentiality standpoint.

If I ever use my android device to hold anything really confidential (no, sorry, honey-bunny text messages with my girlfriend don't count in this sense of the word because, at the end of the day, no one really cares enough about those type of things [and our messaging is somewhat "innocent" stuff in any case]) I'm going to use some real measures like strong encryption. Until that day, I'm not going to be bothered and just keep good care of my device.

Submission + - Dennis Ritchie passed away (wikipedia.org)

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently learned that Dennis Ritchie has passed away. Where is the Slashdot love to one of the Unix creators?. Like it or not, Unix and it's programming language, C, has been the more influential pieces of software of all times.
R.I.P. Dennis, and thanks for all the semicolons.

Unix

Submission + - Dennis Ritchie, creator of C programming language (google.com)

WankerWeasel writes: The sad news of the dead of another tech great has come. Dennis Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language and a key developer of the Unix operating system, has passed away. For those of us running Mac OS X, iOS, Android and many other non-Windows OS' have him to thank. Many of those running Windows do too as many of the applications you're using were written in C.

Comment But will the stars be Right during the next 50K y? (Score 1, Interesting) 69

I sure hope someone could tell me if these findings tell us if the stars will be right during the next 50k years... It would make me at ease knowing how much time we have left before the great old ones... unless, of course, they are coming soon. Even then, I'd like to have the information so I could make preparations (namely, leave this world.)

Submission + - Oracle sues Google for patent infringement (theregister.co.uk)

bit4byte writes: Various sources are reporting the Oracle is sueing Google for patent infringement on the Andriod paltform.
This mainly resovolves around Java and patents that Oracle America now owns due to the purchance of Sun Microsystems.
Here is a link to the actual complaint:
http://regmedia.co.uk/2010/08/13/oracle_complaint_against_google.pdf

Submission + - Finnish Police Wants Passport Fingerprints

Bocconcini writes: Since June 6th 2009 all new Finnish passports have included fingerprint information of the holder in accordance to the EU ruling. The current Finnish law doesn't allow the fingerprint database to be used in most police investigations, however, the national police commissioner is pushing to get the law changed to give the police access to the information. The current goverment does not share his views, but he hopes that the next year's parlamentary election will result in a more willing goverment. I wonder if anyone really though this would not eventually happen when the fingerprint ruling was introduced by EU.

Comment Re:Piracy squeezes the middle hardest (Score 0) 438

*Groan*

I'm not the GP, and I can see he used "low profile title" to mean the games that just barely make it to the shelves of physical stores, without any serious advertising campaigns etc. Those games are still built with serious budgets and 100+ person workforce and have to compete with the high-profile games. To just break even, those games need to sell in the 100K+ units scale. These are the games that, according to the GP, are going to be hit the hardest by copyright infringement.

Indie games are done in teams of maximum of 10 people, in some cases only one, where sales amounts of 5K - 10K units might (maybe) be enough to make it worth the developers' time financially speaking. These are the games which "are probably not going to be popular enough to attract that much piracy."

...yes, I pulled the numbers in this post out of my ass, but I honestly see them as somewhere in the correct ballpark. Feel free to correct me with solid information if you have any.

Comment Re:Give me a break (Score 1) 557

Who were the guys behind NEXTStep, again? And sure, they took stuff from BSD, but so what? The end result is, the system ended up being better that way. Please don't get me wrong, I hate Apple's shenanigans these days as much as anyone else, but saying that NEXTStep is nothing else but BSD is just dishonest or ignorant.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 875

Come on now, things are not that black and white. That should be where The Constitution kicks in. And international Human Rights treaties. ...In theory, at least.

As a finnish person myself, I'd like to point out that there are few loopholes; first, the regulation states that the theoretical maximum of the available connection must be at least 1 Mb/s, and it can be provided whatever technology is the "most viable choice", including wireless and such. Looking at the track record of what kind of actual speeds finnish telcos are able to provide over wireless technologies around the country, I wouldn't shout out in rejoice just yet. Luckily I live in Helsinki where I can actually get a passable & affordable broadband access by cable.

Comment Depends on game, should award good play too (Score 1) 404

Depends on a game and overall design. I'm not going to say that there is a genre where it would never work (because someone would just prove me wrong with a single datapoint saying otherwise) but I'd say that

a) It must be very carefully balanced
b) Game should have better rewards for those who handle the greater challenge. That should solve the problem of "rewarding mediocrity".

Take shmups, for instance. The better the player plays in them, the harder they usually get. (at least most of the good ones.) However, the "better" playing is also tightly coupled with the mechanics of scoring, which is essentially the main rewarding system, which means that harder difficulty=higher scores. I actually like this type of system more than pre-set easy-normal-hard-very hard -steps, because first, they are by definition able (when executed right) to give the "right" difficulty for everyone, and second because it keeps everyone's scores on the same scale.

Of course, this type of system does not fit into every game. Also, if awards for good playing are items, completely losing opportunity to get some specialized gear because of good play would be mildly off-putting.

Comment Re:Great advertising for new versions! (Score 1) 590

But you can still sell them to someone who is crazy enough for retro gaming that he keeps an antiquated system running for games. Or you can use emulators/virtual environments to still play those games without having completely artificial technological barriers stopping or inconveniencing you just because some business-type assholes said so.

I honestly do think of the bolded part to be relevant to this issue, especially since DMCA and it's ilk make it illegal for anyone else help you bypass those artificial barriers.

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