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Comment Re:Shitty article (Score 1) 103

You have no idea what you're talking about. Ape escape used the right stick to control the items, and the left stick for movement. It worked like the twin stick "asteroids" style games out now.

Twin stick control was an entirely new concept for console players at the time. Forget about 4 way buttons -- this took getting used to. After a few years, game developers then seemed to hit upon the idea of using the stick for the camera.

By now, we're all accustomed to this convention. But in 1998-1999, using a stick for a camera was a largely unheard of concept. Camera control was via shoulder buttons on 4 way buttons, and was a genuine nightmare. Third person 3D games never really became smoothly playable until the genuine innovation of the camera control stick.

And no, neither Ape escape nor Mario 64 did not employed this convention.

Comment NSA (Probably) installed one Anyway (Score 0) 360

Article overlooks the other big backdoor which was installed in 2003: SELinux.

I still have no idea why my kernel would need an internal firewall, but I do know why the NSA would want to install one in mine and everyone elses'. Exactly how many more NSA scandals do we require before this "feature" is rolled back?

Comment Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (Score 1) 668

To the jerk at the NIST who decided to take down dlmf.nist.gov, I have only this to say: The day you need to accelerate the convergence of a power series, I hope some jerk comes along and shuts down your resource website too so you know how irritating this is.

To everyone else, I say: Use the archive:
DLMF: Wayback Machine.

Comment Re:Here we go again (Score 2) 362

Instead, let's promote patience, compromise, and a steady societal change, rather than an overnight revolution.

Ah yes. The "Occupy" doctrine. Sit peaceably outside your opponent's house of crime and continually ask him to "stop being bad" until he stops being a criminal, or oppressor, or whatever. The sound of his boots continuing to trample your head should only strengthen your resolve to be the best non-commital, passive-agressive protestor you can be.

Or you can get up off your apathetic rear end and actually try to change things. Often this will require you do do things people currently running things don't like.

Comment Re:The USA is ruled (Score 5, Insightful) 527

the US gets the press, but every country is doing as much as they can (and are able to) with the money and network taps they have in place.

I live in Ireland. I can pretty much guarantee you of three things.

1) The state lacks the expertise to snoop on any communications.
2) The state lacks the legal clout to force anyone to turn over their encryption keys.
3) The government would likely not survive the closure of an IT SME such as Lavabit -- and loss of associated jobs -- which resulted from direct government interference in that company's ability to operate in Ireland.

The rules that apply to the US government do not apply to every government. Some governments lack the skills, laws, and nerve to pull off what the White House/NSA is doing to US internet companies right now. More governments simply lack the money to pay for so extensive a network of surveillance and control.

there is no country that won't do this, no matter what they say. so stop thinking its the big bad old USA. its everyone, everywhere, who CAN do it.

That can includes more than simply being ABLE to do it. It includes being EMPOWERED to do it, being PERMITTED by the people to do it, and to being able to AFFORD to do it. Right now the US government is able, empowered, but only just about permitted and certainly not able to afford to continue to finance a spying program of this magnitude.

The Soviet Union exhausted both its finances and legitimacy in trying to keep its populace under control. Hopefully the US will not have to go through as painful a breakup in order to reverse its present trend.

Comment Re:There's hope yet (Score 1) 165

I've switched to XFCE as well. Absolutely no problems. I was up and running at my original Gnome2 spped with half an hour. My only issues thus far have been with 13.04. A lot of the XFCE applets stopped working (as they were actually wrapped Gnome 2 applets), and there were themeing issues.

Personally, I don't care what Ubuntu do anymore. I've spent the last 4 upgrades fixing things they break for no reason and getting rid of horrible UI redesigns. I'm not waiting to see what they've broken in XFCE this time around. I'm moving to Mint on the next upgrade.

Comment Re:news media has lost interest? (Score 1) 513

I've mentioned this in another comment, but despite the media's earnest efforts to bury the NSA story, it's simply too huge to go away. I mostly wanted to respond to this

It seems that the public and the media has moved on, and no longer cares. It's the "new normal" that we are all spied on all the time.

I dont think this is the case. As the revelations have continued, new polls have shown that more and more people are becoming concerned about the size and power of the NSA, and the extent of its spying program. This issue is refusing to fade into obscurity, even without media support. The disquiet is growing beyond the tech community and becoming mainstream. We could be looking at the growth of a popular issue as big as property taxes, or the environmental movement.

Comment Re:People don't care because they're too stupid (Score 5, Interesting) 513

While I am a bit cynical myself, I'd have to disagree with the statement that no-one care about all of this. Despite the mainstream media's systemic attempts to bury this story, the NSA revelations are a sledgehammer slowly pounding at the complacent foundations of the free internet. This issue is simply too huge to go away.

The NSA is literally turning into an Orwellian Ministry of Information. It has commandeered the internet, and is strong-arming American companies into doing its bidding, regardless of the effect on their or their customers rights or freedoms, and regardless of the effect on America's reputation for free speech and free enterprise.

It might be easy to ignore each individual blow of revelation, but when a big pillar crumbles, it becomes a little difficult to look away or hide the growing sense of dread. The closure of Lavabit and Silent Circle was a body blow to the notion of free speech and free enterprise on the US internet.

A lot of people probably felt that the likes of Facebook, Google, MS, would be locked down first, with the creep moving down the chain to email providers, independent sites, and finally, in extremis, to small independent secure email service providers. Instead this has been turned on its head; the independent man, in business for himself, was the first pin to fall. The message is clear: You cannot set up a website, email service, or any other internet business in the United States without the prior and/or post-facto approval of the National Security Agency.

A dream is dying. People like yourself escape through cynicism. Others escape through denial, or fantasy. But the reality is we are living in a nightmare, surrounded by a growing sense of dread in a global spy and surveillance network that has spiralled out of all reasonable proportion and probably control.

The NSA is turning the internet into at best a panopticon, and at worst a prison for our whole society. They have slowly built a fortress of concrete, wire, and guard-towers around the free web. Edward Snowden is outside, slowly pounding on the wall, hoping some of those inside will hear enough to notice that they need to find a way to break out, to stop the construction before it's too late.

I think he's succeeding. As cynical as I am, I think that as the revelations continue, more people are starting to wake up to the reality of the nightmare that the NSA was trying to create while they slept. We need an internet that is encrypted, anonymous, and decentralised by default; And Mr. Snowden's sledgehammer may be inspiring a new generation of hackers to finally create it.

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