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Comment Escape Velocity... (Score 1) 200

It remembers me Ambrosia Software Escape Velocity, great game, but the more you played the more a fake user will come in the game (Cpt. Hector) to steal your money and (as last resort) kill you, if you didn't buy the complete version after the demo period.. it's not *exactly* the same. but the main idea is there, date 15 years ago

Comment Re:Practice your Recovery Method (Score 2, Interesting) 411

Magnetic disk are not a permanent storage, AFAIK not even for medium, they break, when they mustn't. Optical such as blueray kept in a really safe place; hidden from light, humidity and temperature variations can last much longer. Hard Disk failure may always occour, i had a raid 1 at home.. both disk failed at the same time... You may even do something good such as compressing your data and adding some disks for additional safety with some kind of error correcting code spreaded in them.
United States

US Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition 630

Hugh Pickens writes "Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Deborah Blum has an article in Slate about the US government's mostly forgotten policy in the 1920s and 1930s of poisoning industrial alcohols manufactured in the US to scare people into giving up illicit drinking during Prohibition. Known as the 'chemist's war of Prohibition,' the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, killed at least 10,000 people between 1926 and 1933. The story begins with ratification of the 18th Amendment in 1919, which banned sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the US. By the mid-1920s, when the government saw that its 'noble experiment' was in danger of failing, it decided that the problem was that readily available methyl (industrial) alcohol — itself a poison — didn't taste nasty enough. The government put its chemists to work designing ever more unpalatable toxins — adding such chemicals as kerosene, brucine (a plant alkaloid closely related to strychnine), gasoline, benzene, cadmium, iodine, zinc, mercury salts, nicotine, ether, formaldehyde, chloroform, camphor, carbolic acid, quinine, and acetone. In 1926, in New York City, 1,200 were sickened by poisonous alcohol; 400 died. The following year, deaths climbed to 700. These numbers were repeated in cities around the country as public-health officials nationwide joined in the angry clamor to stop the poisoning program. But an official sense of higher purpose kept it in place, while lawmakers opposed to the plan were accused of being in cahoots with criminals and bootleggers. The chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, one of the poisoning program's most outspoken opponents, liked to call it 'our national experiment in extermination.'"

The Awful Anti-Pirate System That Will Probably Work 1027

spidweb writes "Much virtual ink has been spilled over Ubisoft's new, harsh DRM system for Assassin's Creed 2. You must have a constant internet connection, and, if your connection breaks, the game exits. While this has angered many (and justifiably so), most writers on the topic have made an error. They think that this system, like all DRM systems in the past, will be easily broken. This article explains why, as dreadful as the system is, it does have a chance of holding hackers off long enough for the game to make its money. As such it is, if nothing else, a fascinating experiment. From the article: 'Assassin's Creed 2 is different in a key way. Remember, all of its code for saving and loading games (a significant feature, I'm sure you would agree) is tied into logging into a distant server and sending data back and forth. This vital and complex bit of code has been written from the ground up to require having the saved games live on a machine far away, with said machine being programmed to accept, save, and return the game data. This is a far more difficult problem for a hacker to circumvent.'"

Recommendation Algorithm Wants To Show You Something New 90

Several sources are reporting on a new metric that computer scientists are going after with respect to recommender systems — recommendation diversity. "In a paper that will be released by PNAS, a group of scientists are pushing the limits of recommendation systems, creating new algorithms that will make more tangential recommendations to users, which can help expand their interests, which will increase the longevity and utility of the recommendation system itself. Accuracy has long been the most prized measurement in recommending content, like movies, links, or music. However, computer scientists note that this type of system can narrow the field of interest for each user the more it is used. Improved accuracy can result in a strong filtering based on a user's interests, until the system can only recommend a small subset of all the content it has to offer."

Comment it depend how they do it (Score 1) 578

In the company which i work for, we have biometrical recognition to go in certain place of the building. But there are no privacy concern, only the hash of the fingerprint is stored, and it is in my badge. They don't have any useful data at all, just an SHA256 of an approximation of my finger. So it all depend on how they do it

Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality 380

the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."

Comment Re:I have encrypted this post (Score 1) 660

That's what steganography is for (check truecrypt). Encryption ensures that nobody else can read the message, if you want to hide, then you need steganography, which hides the message. or as true crypt does: the data can be decrypted with 2 passwords. one for the cop, one for you and they can't know if there is something else

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