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Comment Hope you're proud of yourselves... (Score 1, Insightful) 213

Even though the Foxconn suicide rate was about the same as the rest of the country, the media and various agitators saw fit to demonize Foxconn as though it were in the same vein of blood-for-profit as the African diamond trade. Now lo and behold, Foxconn has said "fuck this, robots are cheaper" and a million Chinese are going to lose their jobs because of your histrionics over a few deaths by mentally unstable people.

And yeah, Foxconn's jobs may suck by American standards. However they were pure gold if you came from rural China where you probably had the same hours, even more back-breaking work and probably a worse place to sleep at night than a Foxconn dormitory.

Comment Why not open source it period? (Score 1) 126

Maybe there's a boat load of trade secrets in the closed source drivers, but I'd imagine that this is a perfect area for patents to be used against competitors. It would seem to me that most hardware vendors would benefit from open sourcing their main drivers and documenting them lightly so that they could offload maintenance costs for smaller OSes to "the community" while relying on patent law to protect novel inventions.

Submission + - Snowden, a Comedic Rap Summary

Pav writes: Rap News distills the whole story down to five minutes of hilarious biting satire. Also, in other "news" see Assange get hauled away by nordic babes wearing lingerie and stormtrooper helmets, or Bill O'Reilly literally vomiting excreta. Rap News has plenty more tracks related to internet liberty erosion, politicial and nerdy issues in general. Perhaps they should become house artists for Slashdot?

Comment What PHP needs now... (Score 3, Interesting) 219

Is for someone to write a new standard API that can sit in parallel to their old one that gives us sanity like string manipulation functions with real names and consistent parameters. You know stuff like:

$x = string::indexOf($source, $needle);

and

$x = string::replaceAll($source, $needle, $regularExpression);

Comment Time to end the charade (Score 5, Interesting) 172

An individual cannot "wage war." An organization that can only field a few attackers here and there cannot "wage war." Waging war implicitly means the ability to attack an enemy, occupy their land and drive out their political authority. Most terrorist organizations cannot field an army capable of occupying a one camel town for more than week, and their affiliates that can are not making war on us.

If the President can use his war powers on them, then he sure as heck can use them on MS13 or any other large scale criminal gang in the US as most of them have more power to inflict severe loss of life and property than 90% of the Islamic terrorist groups.

Submission + - Shades of Jack Ryan: altering text in eBooks to track pirates (wired.com)

wwphx writes: German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an e-book ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, which Google translates to “secure documents by individual marking,” the changes are unique to each e-book sold. These alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had any other DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online. The researchers are hoping the new DRM feature will curb digital piracy by simply making consumers paranoid that they’ll be caught if they share an e-book illicitly.

Seems like I recall reading about this in Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October when Jack Ryan used this technique to identify someone who was leaking secrets to the Russians. It would be so very difficult for someone to write a little program that, when stripping the DRM, randomized a couple of pieces of punctuation to break the hash that the vendor is storing along with the sales record of the individual book.

Submission + - Japanese artist makes better art in Execl than others can do with Photoshop (geek.com) 3

cute_orc writes: MS Excel is notorious for being a boring spreadsheet applications. But 73 years old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes amazing art using autoshape tool of Excel. He makes free-form shapes spanning multiple cells and join them together in into a huge image. His artwork is really amazing and beautiful.

Comment No, for at least two reasons (Score 1) 183

1. Most states don't even let you stand your ground when faced with an assailant on the street you can clearly identify. Hacking back is stand your ground without even the requirement of knowing who is attacking you before drawing and using a weapon in many cases (most)?
2. Many corporations have punitive policies that prohibit or limit employees' self-defense rights on their campuses or even during the work hours. For example, I think one of the major pizza chains won't let drivers who regularly drive into very bad parts of town keep even a blunt weapon, let alone a legal firearm on them.

So why should corporations get a right which is dangerous, hard to limit collateral damage and which is a corollary to a right that is badly limited in most parts of the US for the flesh and blood citizens?

Transportation

Nicaragua Gives Chinese Firm Contract To Build Alternative To Panama Canal 323

McGruber writes with this news from late last week: "The Guardian is reporting that Nicaragua has awarded a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal, in a step that looks set to have profound geopolitical ramifications. The new route will be a higher-capacity alternative to the 99-year-old Panama Canal, which is currently being widened at the cost of $5.2bn. Last year, the Nicaraguan government noted that the new canal should be able to allow passage for mega-container ships with a dead weight of up to 250,000 tonnes. This is more than double the size of the vessels that will be able to pass through the Panama Canal after its expansion, it said."

Comment In the words of Sam Adams (Score 4, Insightful) 584

It's rare that I quote a famous figure, as so often it's cliche to the point of deserving a cluebat-induced coma. However, I think this quote from Sam Adams accurately describes the state of America (better than the famous Franklin quote so often cited here) and how so many would sacrifice their rights to ensure their happy consumerist lifestyles:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Cellphones

Apple's War Against Jailbreaking Now Makes Perfect Sense 321

An anonymous reader writes "Apple has always been extremely anti jailbreaking, but it might now have a good reason to plug up the exploits. As Hardware 2.0 argues, Apple's new iOS 7 Activation Lock anti-theft mechanism which renders stolen handsets useless (even after wiping) unless the owner's Apple ID is entered relies on having a secure, locked-down OS. Are the days of jailbreaking iOS coming to a close?" I can see a whole new variety of phone-based ransom-ware based on this capability, too.

Submission + - No black hole or magnetic monopole: Tunguska really was a meteor (nature.com)

davide-nature writes: The mysterious blast that flattened 2,000 square km of a remote Siberian forest in 1908 has been blamed on the most bizarre causes, such as an exotic elementary particle left over from the Big Bang, a black hole or, of course, aliens, including in the double-episode "Tunguska" of The X-Files. But a new analysis of tiny rock samples suggests that a more mundane explanation — a meteor exploding in the atmosphere — may be the right one.
The blast is estimated to have packed between 3 and 5 megatons, 10 times the energy of the meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year.

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