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AI

Mannequins That Watch Shoppers 97

SternisheFan writes with news of a creepy mannequin that watches you as you shop. From the article: "Benetton Group SpA is among fashion brands deploying mannequins equipped with technology used to identify criminals at airports to watch over shoppers in their stores. Retailers are introducing the EyeSee ... The 4,000-euro ($5,072) device has spurred shops to adjust window displays, store layouts and promotions to keep consumers walking in the door and spending. The EyeSee looks ordinary enough on the outside ... Inside, it's no dummy. A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police. It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by. Demand for the device shows how retailers are turning to technology to help personalize their offers as growth slows in the $245 billion luxury goods industry. Bain & Co. predicts the luxury market will expand 5 percent in 2012, less than half last year's rate. 'It's a changing landscape but we're always going to be sensitive about respecting the customer's boundaries,' said spokesman Colin Johnson. ... Since the EyeSee doesn't store any images, retailers can use it as long as they have a closed-circuit television license."

Comment Openstack is developed to smell like AWS (Score 1) 42

The "everyone should run our open (tm) software" plea. I'm not falling for it. No customer is demanding "cloud portability" because customers don't want to change ISP, ever. I just don't think portability of whole VM networks will ever be feasible on a technical level. Even if you could shuffle IPv4 addresses and masses of data around the whole internet between providers without down time, there's no incentive for ISPs to cooperate, or willingly turn themselves into a cheaper sub-brand of Rackspace. It would instantly put them at a competitive disadvantage. Your entire business model controlled by a competitor? You can go to Parallels for that; their software works out of the box, it will gladly migrate ISPs for you, and the per-customer fees are reasonable!

The customers who have sussed cloud portability already have it through tools like puppet, rigid version control, or a tightly-specced development environment supported by lots of ISPs (PHP, Java, .net - ish). The customers that don't have a portable setup won't magically get it through an "open" hosting API, they will be lashed to their current provider as they always have been.

Comment Re:Angry Birds (Score 1) 368

However, the basic gameplay mechanics are just so-so. It's just a physics simulation. The real problem is that there is such a massive luck factor involved. For example, when someone beats a difficult "level", what is the chance that they can actually reproduce their success in the exact same way? Pretty much impossible.

I think this just is the definition of a game you suck at ;-) And I think the reason it's successful isn't that it's luck based at all - sure you experiment, you learn, but eventually you succeed at clearing a level, and a skilled played _can_ repeat their performance. It's not unpredictable, but you do need skill. I bet 1980s-you would have liked it. It's like a streamlined Lemmings. It's definitely a classic, and apart from the reliance on touch screen, not a modern game design at all.

If you want to grumble about an evil modern game design, look at Jetpack fucking Joyride. It's skill-based, but makes the absolute minimum actual game in favour of a zillion metagames designed to bore you into "buying" progress. THAT is Satan's gaming, designed to be addictive, shallow and will take a few dollars off you as it goes. I'm sure there are worse examples.

Comment Re:What is the ARM bringing? (Score 1) 230

Yeah sorry I spotted the disparity too late. It's an ASUS 1025CE which has a spec of 1GB RAM and 320GB HDD, for £320. It's upgradeable to 4GB RAM, but because they forgot to cut a whole in the underneath, you have to take the bastard thing apart. The SSD was an Intel 80GB I had spare which I think goes for about £70-80 these days.

Linux i386 installs fine, but the "Cedar View" Intel graphics drivers are still hard to find packaged. The rest of the hardware worked with Ubuntu 12.04 just fine though.

Security

US Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks 292

SternisheFan writes in with this Times article about more trouble brewing between the U.S. and Iran. "American intelligence officials are increasingly convinced that Iran was the origin of a serious wave of network attacks that crippled computers across the Saudi oil industry and breached financial institutions in the United States, episodes that contributed to a warning last week from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that the United States was at risk of a 'cyber-Pearl Harbor.' After Mr. Panetta's remarks on Thursday night, American officials described an emerging shadow war of attacks and counterattacks already under way between the United States and Iran in cyberspace. Among American officials, suspicion has focused on the 'cybercorps' that Iran's military created in 2011 — partly in response to American and Israeli cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz — though there is no hard evidence that the attacks were sanctioned by the Iranian government. The attacks emanating from Iran have inflicted only modest damage. Iran's cyberwarfare capabilities are considerably weaker than those in China and Russia, which intelligence officials believe are the sources of a significant number of probes, thefts of intellectual property and attacks on American companies and government agencies."
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files? 440

First time accepted submitter jamiedolan writes "I've managed to consolidate most of my old data from the last decade onto drives attached to my main Windows 7 PC. Lots of files of all types from digital photos & scans to HD video files (also web site backup's mixed in which are the cause of such a high number of files). In more recent times I've organized files in a reasonable folder system and have an active / automated backup system. The problem is that I know that I have many old files that have been duplicated multiple times across my drives (many from doing quick backups of important data to an external drive that later got consolidate onto a single larger drive), chewing up space. I tried running a free de-dup program, but it ran for a week straight and was still 'processing' when I finally gave up on it. I have a fast system, i7 2.8Ghz with 16GB of ram, but currently have 4.9TB of data with a total of 4.2 million files. Manual sorting is out of the question due to the number of files and my old sloppy filing (folder) system. I do need to keep the data, nuking it is not a viable option.

Comment Re:Unfortunately, UK has become Uncle Sam's lapdog (Score 1) 1065

Oh, the old "government is the *problem*" crazy.

I'm sure you only drive on roads you paved yourself, in a house you built, eating food you grew in your own garden.

You probably make an exception on books though, and read Ayn Rand instead of only books you wrote yourself :-).

Yeah, I'm such an evil collectivist. I even pay taxes ! (and I want to pay *MORE TAX*, how about that for a scare story to tell your kids at night :-).

Comment Re:Unfortunately, UK has become Uncle Sam's lapdog (Score 1) 1065

That's funny. I feel *exactly* the same way about public fire service. Why should *I* pay to subsidize the lazy bums who have fires in their houses. Makes my taxes go up - takes more money out of my pocket. After all, I'm sure I could negotiate with the fire-service people after my house is on FIRE to get the rate down. It's not like it's a service everyone needs, right ?

Sigh. Libertarians. What *would* we do for comedy without them...

Comment Re:Unfortunately, UK has become Uncle Sam's lapdog (Score 1) 1065

> As an american, i can't imagine being made bankrupt and
> homeless by healthcare costs, That just doesn't happen, but
> good argument i suppose.

Just doesn't happen, eh ?

From that well known communist daily, Bloomberg's BusinessWeek:

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2009/db2009064_666715.htm

You may be right wing, but you don't get to have your own facts. The real world always impinges.

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