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Comment Abuse of DMCA?? (Score 1) 494


This guy stole someones idea, and made an exact replica of it. What he did is downright un-American. This country was founded on the principle that nobody should be allowed to reap the benefits of my hard work without my permission. If I work hard enough and create something new and original, I should be able to benefit from it for as long as people are willing to pay for my idea, and the time frame should not be cut short because someone decided to give away my art for free.

I've heard too many times, "information wants to be free", and "copyrights/patents stifle creativity". No, copyrights and patents encourage creativity. Freedom of information encourages poverty for anyone with creative aspirations. It doesn't cost an artist anything to have his music distributed over bit torrent, but guess what? It does cost him money and time to make that music. The fact is, most of your favorite songs, games, books, movies, and even software would not have been created if not for IP laws. If it wasn't for the rights Namco is choosing to exercise in this situation, games like pac man wouldn't even exist. The people who spend thousands of hours creating them would be working at a McDonald's trying desperately to support their families. They would not have the time to create the art that you enjoy so thoroughly.

If the creators of Pacman want to relinquish their rights to allow people greater access to their creation, I would greatly admire them for it. On the other hand, if they decide that they want to exercise their rights to the greatest extent of the law, I don't believe that I or anyone else has the right to question their decision. For all I know their retirement fund tanked, and they're living off of pacman royalties. Do I feel sorry for the guy that wasted his time replicating their work? Not really, he should have asked for their permission first. Do I wish that I could pacman on my android phone? Yes, but that is not my decision to make.

Now, aside from the moral issues, this guy just wasn't very smart. There are plenty of scavenger companies out there that make a lot of money my cloning other people's ideas, and my opinion of them aside, at least they're smart enough to make it appear that they had a unique idea. I mean:

1. Super *Pac*
2. Character named Pacman
3. Identical monsters
4. Identical layout.
5. Identical main character
6. Identical gameplay
7. DIRECT reference to the original work

This guy was asking for a lawsuit, and if he is reading this, my (non-lawyer) advice is: play dead and cross your fingers that they lose their appetite. If I were you, I would consult a lawyer ASAP to figure out how to protect myself from further legal action.


Submission + - Polllution Makes Birds Homosexual (foxnews.com) 2

Velcroman1 writes: The nature versus nurture debate just took an unexpected turn — thanks to pollution. Increased exposure to the toxic chemical mercury can affect sexual preference in certain species of birds — inducing homosexuality, a new study has revealed. Peter Frederick, an ecologist from the University of Florida, and Nilmini Jayasena from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka found that male American white ibises that consumed methylmercury, the most toxic and easily digested form of mercury found in the environment, were more likely to pair with other males."We knew that mercury was likely to affect reproductive hormones from an earlier study," Frederick said, "so we suspected some aspect of reproduction would be affected. We had no clue that mate choice might be involved," he added.

Submission + - WikiLeaks has deleted 21 cables from web (privetbank.com.ua)

An anonymous reader writes: Wikileaks has recently removed 20 cables from their torrent and web. As well 10STATE17263 (about Iran and North Korea missile programs) is not available for more then 12 hours.
Is this start of censorship for CableGate or a bug?

Comment Re:I disagree (Score 1) 125

In theory, yes, it would be impossible to spoof an ssl certificate. However, in practice there are numerous man-in-the-middle attacks on SSL implementations.

It would not be trivial, but there are ways for an ISP to spoof it's identity even with SSL.

Comment Victimless crime? (Score 1) 693

If your professors are boring then don't go to class, but there is no excuse for cheating. The fact is cheating is dishonest, and it is not a victimless crime. You might think that everyone is cheating, so it doesn't matter, but the truth is that at least one person in your classes actually cracked open a book and has been working his ass off to get your grades.

What's going to happen when you both graduate? You're going to get his job because you got a higher GPA, and you knew enough to BS your way through an interview. Despite the fact that the honest guy is vastly more qualified than you, there is no way for the company to know that because neither of you have much work experience, and your transcript looks better.

A few months down the line the your boss realizes that you know almost nothing about Databases, so he takes another look at your transcript and sees that you got an A in your Databases course. He thinks to himself, what are they teaching at XYZ University?

A few months later, your boss is recruiting for another position similar to yours. He gets an application from someone who also got in A in Databases from the same school you attended. He also gets an equally qualified application from a student at ZYX University. Who do you think he's going to hire?

So now, you have a job that going nowhere because you boss and coworkers think your an idiot. The guy who could have excelled at your job is unemployed, and the guy who just graduated has a worthless degree because nobody wants to hire anyone from XYZ university anymore. Do you still think that cheating was the right thing to do?

Comment Nobody can predict the future (Score 1) 250

There is no window to the future. If high FREQUENCY trading was like looking into the future, the algorithm would be worthless because anyone could easily do it with the right hardware.

The truth is, it's very difficult to predict the future with any degree of certainty at even the smallest time intervals. Imagine this scenario:

GOOG, BID: 649 ASK: 650

Now, someone puts an order to sell at 649.5, the HFT sees it, and buys, and puts the stock back on the market for 650. Now, someone sells a large amount of shares at a 645 limit, and all of the 645-649 bids go through. Now stock is at:

GOOG, BID: 645, ASK:650

Now, selling to the highest bidder would mean taking a $5/share loss. What should the HFT do?

Now, you might be thinking an HFT would have just sold before all of those trades went through, and it would have only lost 1 or 2 dollars. You would probably be right, but the real question is where do you draw the line. If you sold every time the bid dropped at all, you would end up losing more money than you make. The truth is, with all the competing HFT's out there, It's a lot easier to lose money than it is to make money.

A good HFT is effective at turning many small gains into big profits. The trick is making sure those are small gains adding up, not small losses. If another company were to see Goldman's algorithm, they could not only steal their strategies, but they could engineer situations that would trick the Goldman bot into selling at a loss, netting a huge profit for the competitor.

Comment Re:Security? (Score 1) 171

The great irony of Slashdot: The guy who is too lazy to do any research himself gets +4 interesting(good karma), while the guy who actually goes out and finds the answer gets +4 funny(no karma).

I ask you, does Mr. Neon deserve ad-free page views any less that Mr. Rotide?

(Yes, I realize that Mr. Neon already has good karma, but the point still stands)

Comment Firewall Circumvention (Score 2, Informative) 136

That is a huge misinterpretation, here is the real story:

-DEVELOPER of widely used firewall CIRCUMVENTION software says "Don't use MY firewall CIRCUMVENTION software"

-EFF says that DEVELOPER says "Don't use his firewall CIRCUMVENTION software"

-SECURITY AUDITOR that started all this commotion says "Don't use his firewall CIRCUMVENTION software"

This is a huge issue, and I am glad that the EFF is spreading the word. You may not have heard of it, but Haystack is very widely used in Iran. It has been distributed through smuggled CD-R's and USB drives all over the country.

The fact that Haystack is insecure means that MILLIONS of people are at risk of being arrested.

Comment Fair and balanced coverage (Score 1) 837

Thank you, AC

The reason I read the Washington Post is because they are willing to post articles like the one mentioned. While I do not agree with what most of the article says, I think that is the responsibility of any good citizen to take in arguments from both sides of a story. The Washington Post allows me to do this by posting articles from both sides of the spectrum on any given issue. Unlike some other news organizations they will also post the more "liberal" side of the story:

In regards to the wikileaks article, the wapo also has an interview with Assange himself. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkpoint-washington/2010/07/who_is_julian_assange_of_wikil.html

That being said, I think that Thiessen's article does make one good point about WikiLeaks endangering the lives of informants in Iraq. There is no good reason that Assange did not redact the documents to remove any names or other personally identifiable information. Doing so would have minimized the risk of lives, and accomplished his goal of disseminating information.

Comment Re:Well.. (Score 1) 254

Do you have any evidence that Microsoft has or is intending to send out banned consoles through warranty claims?

Banning a person who has done nothing but ask for warranty repairs seems like poor business practices that could easily be fixed with a quick database update. I doubt even Microsoft would use such underhanded techniques to exploit warranty policy into increased console sales.

Such practices would not only be blatantly illegal, but they would also lead to a strong backlash upon being perceived as scamming the average Joe Gamer.

Comment Double speeds on Docsis 3.0 (Score 1) 698

Comcast recently upgrades my area to Docsis 3.0, giving me double the speed I previously had for the same price. For the last few months I have been getting a consistent 9-12mbps instead of the 4-6 I previously had.

Last night, after watching a movie on netflix, however, I checked my bandwidth, and I was getting only 5-6mbps. As it appears, they've lowered my speeds after 15 minutes of usage. While I did enjoy the 9-12 mbps, getting a consistent 5+mbps means that with a good QOS policy on my router I can stream from netflix in hd without any interrupts, so I am satisfied.

When I get home tonight, I am going to set my router to throttle at 8.3 mbps, that should put me just under the limit, so I can get a consistent speed instead of dropping to 5. If that works I'll still be getting a 50% boost in speed, which is not too bad considering I'm still paying the same amount, though I do wish they were a little more honest about "doubling" my speed.

Comment Re:Jocks win wars? (Score 1) 401

No, all the jocks ended up in the Marines, Army and other best equipped fighting forces on Earth, and the nerds ended up at Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing, making them the best equipped fighting forces on earth. The marines would not be any better than any other troops without fighter jets and UAVs backing them and telling them exactly where to find the enemy. Who needs jocks when you have exoskeletons carrying hundreds of pounds of the most sophisticated fighting equipment on the planet for you?

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Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson