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Comment Re:I think I speak for us all... (Score 1) 335

Clearly IE, the popular closed source browser, ,is against anonymity. Who knows this for sure, the country with the code .ie - I feel dumb for not knowing earlier.

I strongly doubt that there is actually a connection here, rather than some pandering moron attempting to secure the Irish values voter/authoritarian 'security' freak vote; but MS (and most multinationals doing business in the EU) magically book enormous portions of the proceeds in Ireland, rather than countries with the actual customers and higher taxes...

Comment Re:I think I speak for us all... (Score 3, Insightful) 335

He starts by condeming browsers and proxies that help people browse the internet anonymously. Then he jumps to saying that anonymous browsing leads to trading drugs, weapons, and pornography. Then he commends the USA NSA for spying on Americans but is concerned that now that they have been caught Americans might do something about it.

Would it be in poor taste to express a hope that the British come and show him how much fun being the object of 'security' is, like they used to? There's no cure for an authoritarian asshole quite like a bit of repression that he isn't in favor of....

Comment Re:Nature's Hugs... (Score 1) 384

Eh, off-label modafinil use strongly suggests that cramming is going on(since they aren't good enough to stave off sleep forever, and people who don't want to crash hard just have to suck it up and develop a vaguely healthy sleep schedule in the long term); but psychostimulants (while they may well be useful for cramming) don't magically taint what you learn while using them with some sort of 'unnatural, short-term retention only' flag. They also don't have any properties precluding long-term use in people who find them useful (plus, many are off-patent and quite cheap).

Submission + - Three Videos on Codec2 and Open Hardware

Bruce Perens writes: Codec2 is the Open Source ultra-low-bandwidth speech codec capable of encoding voice in 1200 Baud. FreeDV (freedv .org) is an HF (global-range radio) implementation that uses half the bandwidth of SSB, and without the noise. Here are three speeches about where it's going:
  • David Rowe: Embedding Codec2: Open Source speech coding on a low-cost microprocessor, at Linux.conf.au 2014. YouTube, downloadable MP4.
  • Bruce Perens: FreeDV, Codec2, and HT of the Future (how we're building a software-defined walkie-talkie that's smarter than a smartphone), at the TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference 2013. Blip.tv, YouTube
  • Chris Testa on the .Whitebox handheld software-defined radio design that is the RF portion of HT of the Future, which was also shown at the TAPR conference.

Comment Re:Nature's Hugs... (Score 1) 384

Amphetamines have a certain... associated stereotype... of high-as-a-kite tweakers too buzzed to focus on much of anything coherent. In terms of actual prescriptions, yeah, psychostimulants are all about attention, with a side of alertness aid and the occasional dubiously-approved-of weight loss application.

Comment Nature's Hugs... (Score 1) 384

Obviously, doing something not-blatantly-unhealthy is probably a good idea; but amphetamines and modafinil are the tools of choice among students these days in need of a performance enhancement.

If Modafinil has any serious downsides, they certainly are subtle ones. Unlike stimulants, which leave you tired but jittery, it just makes you not tired. The amphetamines, of course, are to be treated with respect and moderation(oral doses, ideally sustained release, you aren't trying to get high here); but can, somewhat surprisingly, sharpen the hell out of your focus. Just be careful. In my experience, they Don't improve the targeting of your focus. If they help you maintain intense focus on a piece of work for far longer than would otherwise be possible, great. If they help you maintain intense focus on completing 100% of the achievements in Dishonored, less useful; but they'll do either depending on the situation you put yourself in.

Comment What (didn't) happen to Nintendo? (Score 1) 92

What I'm always sort of shocked by is how Nintendo knows how to make good games; but their ability to make software seems stuck back in the era when you just built the hardware and let the ROM in the cartridge take over. It isn't a huge surprise that Microsoft approaches their consoles with a heavy dose of software and server backend (even if you don't like their software, they sure have years of experience with writing the stuff, and know a thing or two about running high-volume server operations). Sony is a bit of a surprise, their reputation on the software side for things like computer/minidisk connections, ebook stores, etc. is pretty fucking dire, and they do lag MS on the console side; but they've mostly risen to the occasion.

Nintendo seems to have almost entirely skipped the 'Consoles: Actually a specialized computer now, M'kay?' era. On the plus side, this usually means that they hit the lowest BOM (especially their handhelds, brutally minimalist hardware even today); but it's a total clusterfuck when they try to do anything that takes advantage of the power of having a real computer at your disposal...

Comment Re:People actually liked the controller? (Score 1) 92

I like the controller. Much better having menus/maps on hands than going to menu and dig there. And then there's the asymmetric play (from common games seen in LEGO Marvel where other player can wander off and see his things on pad controller instead of splitscreen).

I like the controller concept; but it's pretty awkward that it was released (and both the BOM teardowns and the pricing of individual controllers suggests it wasn't inexpensive compared to the console as a whole) at the same time that the market is being flooded with iPads and Android tablets, many markedly more competent, classier screens, etc.

Given that the console market is highly price sensitive, and the Wii U draws serious flack for being underpowered, it's a pity that they had to blow the cash on a dedicated, mediocre, peripheral rather than a set of buttons that snap onto one of a few major tablet types and a dollop of software.

Comment Re:Shocking (Score 4, Insightful) 409

I'm shocked. Oracle has always seemed like one the more reputable companies, willing to compete fairly, not obsessed with gouging its customers, and nary an evil bone in their corporate body. I can't imagine them hiring or promoting people that would act like this.

Honestly, I am shocked; but for totally different reasons:

Oracle is evil, sure; but they are a major corporation, with a legal department, HR, 'Compliance' people, and so on. Try to stiff an employee and fire him if he complains? Fuck yeah, Larry can't keep himself in yachts if the peons get all the crumbs they ask for.

Outright admit that you are engaging in discrimination based on racial/ethnic/national origin, when there are so many other ways to massage something as potentially ambiguous as salary level, 'fit with the company', and so on? Was somebody drunk on the job? Asking to get fired and sued? Got away with it so often that they got arrogant?

That is what strikes me as shocking (though, rather convenient for the cause of justice). There are endless legal, or at least 100% unprovable, ways of fucking with somebody. What kind of utter moron would be dumb enough to tell the guy the truth to his face?

Security

Mathematical Model Helps Estimate Optimal Timing of Cyber Attack 31

sciencehabit writes "Have you been missing the grim mathematical war games that strategists once used to map out possible nuclear confrontations? Don't worry, the games are back — this time applied to computer security. Researchers have now mathematically formalized the strategy of computer hacking, potentially enabling anyone — governments, activist hackers, cybermafia — to determine the optimal timing of attacks."

Comment Re:too little too late? (Score 5, Interesting) 198

Gamers are picture perfect examples of addiction. Not "all gamers" but there is a subset of gamers significant enough to predict that no matter how bad things get, they will wait in line to spend lots of money so they can "earn achievements." And why? Because they can't get them in real life as easily or as well. That sense of achievement is addicting and even necessary.

But it's not just gamers who suffer from this. How about all those football fans who rejoice when their team wins or gets sad when their team loses? How about those soccer fans? Have they decapitated and dismembered anyone lately? There's no end to the lunacy. None. And because of that business out there sees unlimited potential for exploitaiton.

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